An exasperated Luton chief Nathan Jones was left with a horrible feeling of déjà vu as his side went down to a 2-1 defeat at Colchester United yesterday afternoon.
With just 15 minutes of actual playing time on the clock, following a lengthy stoppage for Luke Berry’s horrendous injury, the Hatters found themselves 2-0 behind through goals from Tom Eastman and Luke Prosser.
Rewind almost 12 months to the day and Town had been in exactly the same position last term, trailing 2-0 on 31 minutes after Chris Porter’s double strike, both goals coming at exactly the same end too.
Speaking after the game, Jones, who has now seen his side fall behind in all three of their away matches, said: “We didn’t play well in those initial stages.
"We set our stall out, we do meetings beforehand, we lost the first header, we didn’t get on seconds, we lost about four or five second balls in the first two minutes before the injury.
“Then with the injury, we thought, right we’ll regroup and do certain things, and for about a 20 minutes period it was déjà vu from last year.
“It’s exactly the same, we were 2-0 down after about 20 minutes last year from pretty much nothing.
“We worked on stuff so we didn’t do that this year and it wasn’t to be.
“It’s another away game, we’ve had to give ourselves a massive game to chase and we can’t keep doing that as we’re a good side, but we’re not that good that we can keep coming from two down.”
The manner of both goals, from set-pieces, was a particular annoyance to Jones too, as he continued: “It’s very frustrating because it’s as if it doesn’t make a difference what you work on.
“When you go two behind it’s difficult and that’s what cost us, just a lack of discipline in terms of our marking and it’s basic errors, they really are.
“It’s not been great movement, it’s been people walking into positions and bang, ball landed on their head, because there’s been no-one anywhere near them and that’s the disappointing thing.
“We had to work really hard second half and we did create a number of chances.
"We should have got something from the game, but I can’t be here saying we should have done this, because when you concede two, you’re chasing the game.”
Although Town did up their performance noticeably in the second half, as they dominated proceedings, they could only manage a late Danny Hylton penalty to halve the deficit.
Jones was pleased with the display after the break, but knows his side mustn't keep finding themselves in such a position, as he said: “You can’t keep chasing games. If you keep a clean sheet, you win games as we know it takes a very good side to keep us down and to stop us from scoring.
“Even at two down we had chances to have got something out of the game. We got the penalty, but before that, we had a number of chances, Danny had a few chances, even right at the end, we’ve had opportunities.
“We’ve broke on them well and we’ve had enough chances to have scored two goals but it still wouldn’t have won the game because of the lapses of concentration and the lack of discipline. That’s what’s cost us and that’s the frustrating thing.”
Despite the result, Luton remained second, seven points clear of fourth placed Notts County who were held by Wycombe in third, and eight ahead of Exeter, as the Grecians lost to Lincoln.
However, a rueful Jones added: “What a great opportunity again we’ve missed, but we keep saying it.
“The last game of the month and we said, it’s difficult to do, but if you keep a clean sheet then you win the game and we’ll be 10 points clear, but it’s all ifs and buts.”