Town’s defending ‘woeful’ according to boss Jones

Glen Rea puts a challenge in on Cheltenham's Billy Waters
Glen Rea puts a challenge in on Cheltenham's Billy Waters
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Luton chief Nathan Jones labelled his side’s defending as ‘woeful’ as they fell to a hugely disappointing 3-2 defeat at home to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.

The hosts had gone into the match boasting the best defensive record in the division, but were all too easily breached on three occasions as the struggling Robins claimed a welcome three points.

Our defending was woeful at times, and we had enough chances and we enough possession enough of everything to have won that game quite comfortably.

Nathan Jones

Speaking afterwards, boss Jones said: “Im really, really disappointed with the performance. Fair play to Cheltenham, they came here, they put nine behind the ball, wanted to limit us and hit us on the counter attack and they did that.

“Their gameplan worked perfectly, credit to them.

“But for us, our defending was woeful at times, and we had enough chances and we enough possession enough of everything to have won that game quite comfortably.”

After falling 2-0 behind midway through the first half, Isaac Vassell’s goal just before the break looked to have given Town the initiative for the second period.

However, Cheltenham scored again through Billy Waters on the hour mark, meaning an own goal by Liam Davis turned out to be a mere consolation for the Hatters.

Jones continued: “It was a good time to score (before half time), but it kills you them getting the next goal.

“As if we’d have held on and made it 2-2, then we’re looking to win the game.

“But when you keep two behind, the best you can hope for is to get a goal back to draw the game, so it’s not a good night for us, not a good night for how we were.”

The lack of an imposing striker was something Jones felt was missing, as with Danny Hylton suspended and Ollie Palmer not signed from Leyton Orient in time to feature, he even put captain Scott Cuthbert upfront late on to no avail.

Jones said: “The fans were very frustrated, but I thought we were at the level where they could see that.

“We didn’t have the players tonight, we brought in Ollie Palmer, and have not got Danny Hylton, those are two big strikers. Our others are not, so just to put it in there (wouldn’t work).

“Then we threw everything in there, put Scott Cuthbert up there, left one back, we did every possible thing we could do.”

The Town chief was also left frustrated once more by what he felt was an opposing team changing their style of play when visiting Kenilworth Road, as he added: “Most of our opportunities came when we won the ball back and were able to break, because there was no space to play.

“We like to play football, but there was no space to play as they dropped right off and had nine condensed bodies in the centre and it was difficult to break that down.

“But that’s the reputation we’ve built up when sides come here, because I watched their game against Crewe and they went out 4-4-2 and had a go, but they don’t do that, no-one does, because they know we’re a good side and we’ve earned that.

“It’s frustrating for the fans, even worse for us because we work hard every week on what we do, but we’re still in a good position and have a game Saturday and Tuesday now.”