Former Bristol Rovers defender Lockyer admitted there was only one end he was running to after opening his Luton account against Bristol City

Centre half nets first goal in over two years with opener

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 12:00 pm
Tom Lockyer is mobbed after scoring his first goal for Luton against Bristol City last night
Tom Lockyer is mobbed after scoring his first goal for Luton against Bristol City last night

Luton defender Tom Lockyer knew there was only one end of the stadium he was running to after notching the goal he had been dreaming about scoring against Bristol City last night.

The 27-year-old received merciless abuse during Town’s 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate earlier in the season, as the home supporters picked up on his previous allegiance to fierce rivals Bristol Rovers, Lockyer spending seven years with the Gas, playing over 250 games until a move to Charlton in January 2019.

With both Reece Burke and Sonny Bradley missing out on Tuesday night, the Welsh international was recalled to the side for the first time since November 27 after suffering with an ankle injury, picking the perfect moment and place to open his account for the Hatters.

With 42 minutes gone and Luton shooting towards the Oak Road End, James Bree swung in a cross from the left, where Lockyer, who had again been booed by the 586 visiting fans housed behind the goal, was on hand to power his header beyond keeper Max O'Leary and into the net.

He understandably couldn’t contain his emotions when the ball hit the net, and speaking afterwards, said: “I’ve got to be careful what I say here, they’ve given me a lot of stick, not really sure as to why.

“Yes, you could say that (former club), but I just thought I was going to score tonight and I was going to score that end and there was only one way I was running.

“I can’t really remember too much about it, I just remember it came off my head and I looked at the lineo, he didn’t have his flag up, so I was buzzing.

“I went to sleep last night, thinking I was going to score down that end, which obviously happened.

“I had to run to that side, but it’s probably the world’s worst kneeslide, so hopefully they cut that out of the highlights.

“My record isn’t great, that was my first goal for Luton, so hopefully they’ll be a few more and I can work on the celebrations but that kneeslide was horrendous wasn’t it?”

Lockyer has come close to scoring for the Hatters during his previous 38 appearances, including striking the woodwork at Ashton Gate earlier in the season.

It was his first goal since January 2020 and just the ninth of his career in over 350 appearances, but he would like to begin adding to his tally on a more regular basis, adding: "I haven't been prolific, but I feel like I’ve been really unlucky as well.

"I've hit the post three or four times, against Bristol City at their place, I hit the post there as well.

"I've had some keepers make some absolutely worldie saves and probably tonight was the first time where I’ve actually had a little bit of luck.”