Jones has real pride in Luton's record when scoring the first goal

Hatters enjoy a lengthy unbeaten record when breaking the deadlock

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 29th January 2022, 6:30 am
Luton celebrate Tom Lockyer's opening goal against Bristol City
Luton celebrate Tom Lockyer's opening goal against Bristol City

Town boss Nathan Jones took great pride in his side’s outstanding record of remaining unbeaten when scoring first under his command.

The Hatters took the lead through Tom Lockyer on Tuesday night against Bristol City and unsurprisingly went on to win the contest, as despite Andreas Weimann equalising, Elijah Adebayo popped up to seal victory from close range in the 68th minute.

It’s common occurrence for Town as they are yet to lose a Championship match when netting the opening goal since the 3-1 defeat Nottingham Forest back in January 2020.

That of course came under previous boss Graeme Jones, as Town’s Welsh manager has an even better record, now not on the losing side in a league game with Luton since November 2016 when Danny Hylton broke the deadlock in a League Two contest with Portsmouth at Kenilworth Road, only for Pompey to hit back and triumph 3-1, a certain Kal Naismith on target.

On their imperious unbeaten run when getting their noses in front, which now stands at an incredible 87 matches, Jones said: “I think the first goal is very important in any football match these days because of tactics and the way things happen in games.

"We’re proud of that, long may that continue and I just hope we get the first goal.”

Following the Tuesday night win, Jones had declared their opponents from Ashton Gate were the better team on the evening, believing his much-changed side could and would play much better.

However, having had time to reflect, the Town boss felt he might have been overly harsh on the performance, adding: "I think we've showed some real good sides of us in the last few games.

"We showed our bad side for about eight or nine minutes in the second half of the Sheffield United game, but we’ve had to do some big shifts.

"We've had some real emotions in terms of the goals like Bournemouth and then the other night, we weren’t at our best, but we managed to find a way.

"We’ve watched the game back and I probably shouldn’t do an interview after the game, I should probably wait a few hours until I’ve watched it back because we weren’t entirely as bad as we thought.

“We defended very well and limited them to very little, as it was only in the last minute really that they had a clear-cut chance.

"We didn’t defend well with the goal, we gifted them that, there’s four things that happened.

"Even though we didn’t play well, we showed a resoluteness that would enable us to limit a very good front three to very little.”