Clark reveals Hatters striker Adebayo was 'absolutely devastated' after Bournemouth miss

Striker spurns wonderful opportunity at Vitality Stadium

Monday, 27th September 2021, 1:25 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 1:28 pm
Jordan Clark speaks to the press at Bournemouth - pic: Gareth Owen

Town midfielder Jordan Clark revealed that striker Elijah Adebayo was ‘absolutely devastated’ after missing a glorious chance to put the Hatters ahead at Bournemouth on Saturday.

With 14 minutes gone at the Vitality Stadium, the forward was picked out by team-mate Harry Cornick’s pinpoint cross just a few yards from goal, and with keeper Mark Travers struggling to cover his far post, just had to tuck home and give Luton the lead.

However, the attacker somehow managed to get it completely wrong, appearing to shoot against his standing foot, seeing the ball ricochet way off target and into the relieved Cherries fans behind the goal.

Moments later, Adebayo then charged down Travers’ clearance only to see the ball spin back into the arms of the grateful stopper with Bournemouth quickly rubbing salt into the wounds by scoring the opening goal themselves within 60 seconds through Philip Billing's volley.

Dominic Solanke made it 2-0 on the half hour, as on what Town's players said to Adebayo afterwards, Clark said: “We put an arm around him straight away.

"You can see he’s absolutely devastated in there, he feels like he’s cost us the game and it’s not like that at all as it’s a team game.

"We said we would be more worried if he wasn’t getting the chances, but he’s a top striker and that’s what good strikers do.

"He scored two last week, misses a few chances this week and he’ll score a couple on Wednesday night (against Coventry), I’m sure of it.”

The miss clearly affected Adebayo in the first half, with the striker seen shaking his head as he went to get a drink at one point, while the forward was also off target after the break as Town searched for an equaliser, heading Clark’s inviting delivery wide with time running out.

Boss Nathan Jones said of the opportunity: “He’s got to score it, we love Elijah here, he does brilliantly, but the difference is they pay 24, 25 million for Solanke, we pay whatever it is we pay to Walsall, so there’s the difference right there, in terms of the standard and what we’re recruiting from.

“We have to mould him into that striker and he’s doing absolutely brilliant, but we have to take those chances.

“You don’t come here and get the amount of chances normally that we did, or the amount of pressure we did.

“Not many teams dominate them, but we’ve just to one, keep clean sheets, two, take our chances and then we’ll be a better footballing team.”

Although the Hatters did pull one back in the second period, Lloyd Kelly putting Luke Berry’s cross into his own net, they couldn’t force a third stoppage time draw in four matches.

Clark knows that his side can’t always rely on their fighting spirit to save them in matches, adding: “Very rarely do you get two or three in a season and we’ve done it the last few weeks which is always nice, but it’s obviously only a point on the board the last couple of games, when we deserved more.

"When you’re coming to the top of the league, you can’t concede two in the first half and it’s a mountain to climb, these are a top, top side.

“Sloppy goals conceded though and we missed quite a few chances.

"Second half we were on top, it's disappointing to lose, but a lot of positives to take.

"When you come here you can't miss chances because very rarely do you get two or three chances.

"We had quite a few but we’ve just got to take the positives from the game.

"These are top of the league for a reason, second half we were on top for a large period of the game, so we’ve just got to take it into Wednesday now."