Cranie: Reading performance just wasn't good enough

Martin Cranie has Luton's only shot on target at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday
Martin Cranie has Luton's only shot on target at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday

Town defender Martin Cranie felt his side paid a heavy price for a poor first half display during their 3-0 defeat at Reading on Saturday.

The Hatters trailed 2-0 at the break after a disappointing opening 45 minutes in which they were breached twice, with the Royals not having to do a great deal for their goals.

Although Town tightened up in the second period, they didn’t ever seriously threaten a comeback, sending little, if anything, at home keeper Rafael Cabral.

Luton had actually started the game okay, going close through Cranie and James Collins, but the first goal proved vital, the visitors never able to recover.

Cranie said: “Everyone’s very disappointed. We were very soft first half, first 15 we maybe played all right, but the next half hour wasn’t good enough by anyone’s standards.

“First half I think we deserved what we got.

“I had a little chance in the first five minutes, after that, I think they got on top and the set-piece killed us, going one down.

“We got hit on the break, it puts us further back before half time, so we’re going in two down instead of one.

“We were a little bit better second half, but the game was pretty much done by then, so it was disappointing.

“In previous games, we’ve always given ourselves a chance to get back in the game.

“After the two goals, we had to switch it round a bit, we knew that we needed to get the next goal straight after the break.

“But we didn’t create too many chances at all, they got the third and that was game over, so in general it was disappointing.”

All three of Reading’s goals came from Town’s defensive shortcomings once more, Michael Morrison heading home unmarked, Ovie Ejaria scoring following a counter attack and then Garath McCleary taking full advantage of Alan Sheehan’s error late on.

Cranie continued: “The first was a set-piece, then it was a counter, it’s difficult to take.

“We’ve conceded a few set-pieces recently and I think the lads last year didn’t really concede set-pieces at all, so that’s the disappointing thing.

“We’re conceding goals that are very avoidable at the minute and they’re putting us out of the game.

“Mistakes happen in football, but it seems at the minute that we’re making a lot more than other teams which is just killing us.

“That’s something we need to eradicate straight away if we’re going to get positive results.

“We’ve got a lot to work on the next two weeks, I’m sure we will try and put things right in the next few games.”