Luton first team manager Steve Evans called on his side to ‘control their frustrations’ after the Newlands Road club opened 2017 with a 24-10 loss to Belgrave in Midlands Two East South on Saturday.
The visitors, who had ended 2016 with a strong 81-0 victory against Rushden & Higham, struggled to keep their emotions under control in an incident packed match.
Belgrave opened the scoring after 25 minutes as their forwards continued to press the Luton defence which was lacking in depth to lead 7-0.
However, Jake Hobbs’ try five minutes later indicated a possible turnaround for Luton, bringing the game to within two points as the referee blew the half time whistle.
As the second period kicked off, it looked as though there was still all to play for.
However Luton made it too easy at times for Belgrave as they converted another try three minutes after the break.
A high tackle deep within the Luton half for Belgrave gave them a penalty which added a further three points to their tally, as the hosts extended their advantage to 17-5.
With five minutes of normal time left, Steve Alan scored a try after a maul carried the ball to the home side’s touch line.
However, emotions spilled over in extra time with multiple incidents unfolding as Belgrave managed to score a converted try despite the chaos as the final whistle blew.
Afterwards, Evans said: “There was some scrappy play, which I think was causing some frustration.
“What the team need to do is to is to control that frustration so that it does not spill out, not just to each other but to the referee and the opposition.”
First team coach Paul Alston rued the missed opportunity as Luton left without a point.
He added: “The forwards should have been a bit more proactive around the line-out which cost us.”
Luton host Vipers this weekend.