Lockyer rues 'sloppy, sloppy' goal as he urges Town to become more clinical

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Defender left frustrated by Fulham match-winner

Luton defender Tom Lockyer was left to rue a ‘sloppy, sloppy’ goal that saw the Hatters beaten 1-0 at Fulham on Saturday.

With an hour of the contest gone at Craven Cottage, although the hosts had been dominating the ball, their efforts on Thomas Kaminski’s goal were limited, meaning Town were still on level pegging, as thoughts were starting to turn to a first point of the season.

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However, former Wolves forward Raul Jimenez, whom Lockyer and his team-mates had kept quiet all game, was then replaced by Carlos Vinicius, the ex-Spurs and Benfica attacker netting with virtually his first touch when Kaminski couldn’t hold Willian’s cross, for what proved to be the winner.

Hatters defender Tom Lockyer applauds the Luton fans at Fulham on Saturday - pic: Steve Bardens/Getty ImagesHatters defender Tom Lockyer applauds the Luton fans at Fulham on Saturday - pic: Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Hatters defender Tom Lockyer applauds the Luton fans at Fulham on Saturday - pic: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

To concede in such a manner was doubly disappointing for Town’s skipper, as he said: “A tough place to come, they were top 10 last year, tough team, we had a gameplan that we worked on over the international break and I think you can see we put into effect.

“A sloppy, sloppy goal which was incredibly frustrating, as we had some big chances at the other end which we didn't put away.

“It’s frustrating that we couldn't see out their opportunity for their goal as I didn't really feel threatened.”

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What made the result that more annoying for those of a Luton persuasion was the fact that they had the better chances on the afternoon.

The first half saw Carlton Morris volley wide, while a completely unmarked Jacob Brown put his free header from Issa Kabore’s cross against the post from eight yards out.

After the interval, Amari’i Bell’s stretching volley was straight at Cottagers keeper Bernd Leno, with Lockyer himself then flashing a heading off target in stoppage time.

Although pleased to see his side’s creativity increased, Lockyer knows that a return of just two goals from four matches, and only one in open play, must be improved.

He continued: “We have to be clinical.

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"Last season we might get six, seven chances a game, it’s not going to be the case this year, so we have to try and be more clinical.

“There’s Amari’i’s chance which could be a goal, I had a great opportunity at the end, which although it was flashed to me, I want to be trying to hit the target at least and then obviously a stonewall penalty on Carlton.

"It’s not easy at this level, there’s some really good players.”

The Wales international’s opportunity when it came was right in front of the near 3,000 travelling Luton supporters, who once more gave their players a terrific ovation at the full time whistle.

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Lockyer just wished they had been able to celebrate a first point of the season, adding: “A special shout out to the fans, they were incredible again and I have no doubt they’re going to be with us all season.

"It was incredible to see them singing all throughout and clapping us off at the end.

"They know the shift we put in and we’re so frustrated we couldn’t give them something to go home happy about.

"I'd have loved it if that header had nestled in the corner, as I’d have been in there with them, but it wasn’t to be today.”