Jones annoyed by Luton's starts to both halves during Rams loss

Hatters chief bitterly disappointed by timing of second goal

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:27 pm
Glen Rea makes a challenge at Derby
Glen Rea makes a challenge at Derby

Luton boss Nathan Jones criticised the manner in which his side started both halves as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Derby County this afternoon.

The visitors trailed on seven minutes to Lee Gregory’s close range strike, before having the better of proceedings leading up to the interval.

Despite finishing on the front foot and looking the more likely to score, Town then conceded a penalty just two minutes into the second period, Glen Rea clumsily tripping Tom Lawrence, as Graeme Shinnie converted from the spot.

Although Luton huffed and puffed for the final 40 minutes, they never really threatened Scottish international keeper David Marshall, drawing an 11th blank on the road this season, as Jones said: “You can’t chase a game, we’re not a team that can chase a game at 2-0.

“We don’t usually have to do that, but we started both halves really, really poorly I felt.

“Credit to Derby they started the first half really fast, but I felt we allowed them to come on to us a little bit and we conceded.

“If we just saw that period out we were, for half an hour of the first half, really good.

“We created enough chances to have got on the scoresheet, then we wanted to start well and go after the first goal, but it was the polar opposite.

“We didn’t, and from our corner they break, we had numbers back there, don’t defend it well enough, and suddenly it’s 2-0 and it’s game over.”

The timing of the second goal was of particular annoyance to the Hatters chief, as he continued: “It’s sloppy defending, dangle your leg, lazy defending, we can’t do that.

“Normally we’re very good defensively and we’ve shown that we can defend and graft and do that, but that was the killer goal.

“The first one is a real bad goal to give away, but we've still got 80 minutes to get the game back and we were really good first half once we got to grips with it.

“We created enough chances to have gone in at least level, so to come out and concede within two minutes is sacrilege really and that’s cost us.”

Luton weren't without their own opportunities in the first period, with Elijah Adebayo sending a downward header wide, before he missed a golden chance when played clean through by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s pinpoint pass, shooting straight at the legs of Marshall.

Jones said: “He has to score the counter attacking goal, in front of the keeper, you have to score that.

“The others, he’s a real threat, he can attack the ball well and gives us a different dimension, so we’re not going to berate him too much for that as it’s a massive learning curve.

“He should have more goals than he’s got already, but he’s started well, so we’re disappointed today, not as much with the overall performance but just how we started both halves.”

Aft the full time whistle, Derby attacker Colin Kazim-Richards was involved in a spat with midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, before also clashing with Town substitute James Shea before being booked by referee Andy Woolmer.

When asked for his view, Jones added: “He’d had a few arguments during the game and then I was just trying to get my players away as he wanted to fight the world then.

"It was silly nonsense really, I just wanted to make sure that none of my players got involved in anything, otherwise I could lose them for Monday.”