Neilson rues individual mistakes as Luton fall to defeat
It had looked like Town would earn a point after they twice fought back from a goal behind thanks go strikes from Scott Rendell and Andre Gray.
But Lindon Meikle popped up in the last minutes to tap home from close range after a poor mistake from Steve McNulty, who didn’t gain enough distance on his clearing header.
A disbelieving Neilson said: “It’s been mistakes all season. There have been far too many mistakes and myself as a defender, you can’t do them.
“We’ve scored two goals and I think our goals for ratio is very good but our conceding goals this season is absolutely atrocious.”
Hatters made three changes from the 1-1 draw at Macclesfield on Tuesday, finally giving Wayne Thomas his debut after the defender’s international clearance came through, while recalling Dave Martin and Scott Neilson to the wings.
Neilson continued: “We thought Snoop (Lathaniel Rowe-Turner) had been doing well at centre half, so we moved him to left back and I thought he did quite well there.
“Wayne got his clearance and is a more experienced centre half, while Scott Neilson and Dave Martin were in to give us more width and try to attack them down the sides.
“It didn’t really work out for us though. We changed the formation as we had plan A, plan B and plan C, so we switched to plan B at the start of the second half and I thought it worked.
“We took Dave Martin off who wasn’t really that effective, and bought on Stuart Fleetwood, who’s likely to score goals.
“I thought we were on the front foot going into the last 20 minutes, we had chances, one hit the lad on the line.
“It was one of those games where I thought we were going to go and win it, but we fell to the sucker punch.”
Neilson also confirmed that both Jon Shaw and Janos Kovacs were missing due to injury as he said: “Jon had a little slight hamstring. He had an injection on Thursday so hopefully might be training on Monday.
“Janos had a little knock last week and wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be involved at the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Stags boss Paul Cox was delighted his side reaped rewarde for their positive approach as he added: “It’s a hard place to get a result, I’m proud of the lads and proud of the supporters.
“It was a good performance. I thought we got here and got out of the blocks. We didn’t come here and defend, the hunger and desire was in abundance.”