Luton Town lost their grip
Elijah Adebayo’s first goal wasn’t enough as Luton Town lost their grip during Tuesday’s clash with Millwall in the final minutes. Photo: Gareth Owen/Luton Town FC

There is nothing worse in football than losing points with the last kick of the game. That’s what happened Tuesday night at Kenilworth Road as Luton Town lost their grip on all three points against Millwall in the 95th minute. Despite it being inevitable to anyone with a set of eyes, when Millwall’s equalizer came it was beyond gut-wrenching. When you start running to the corner flag with only 80 minutes played instead of trying to add a second goal, you deserve what you get.

LUTON GOT WHAT THEY DESERVED

The 1-1 draw now means Luton has won only once in their last seven league games and slipped to 17th in the league. What looked like a comfortable mid-table finish earlier in the season now sees Luton peering over their shoulder at the dreaded relegation places. If that becomes a reality all of last season’s heroics, especially on the last day against Blackburn Rovers, will have been for nothing. It might also be the jolt Luton needs to have a massive clear out.

I’ve said before how some of these players are not Championship quality and every week it becomes more obvious. However, if Nathan Jones’ tactics for the last ten minutes were to play the ball into the corner flags and try to waste time then he is as out of his depth as the players are. Reminder this is coming from someone who considers himself a fan of the manager despite him leaving for a brief fling with Stoke City.

There was just far too much time left on the clock for this to be effective, plus we had the chance to kill the game off with Millwall pushing for an equalizer. With the fresh legs of “game changers” Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu, Luke Berry, and Harry Cornick we had the pace to catch them on the counter-attack, yet it didn’t even seem an option. I’m going to give Jones the benefit of the doubt and put it down to the players’ insecurities, but even then it’s something as manager he will have to fix.

ALAS THERE WERE POSITIVES

While the last-minute goal leaves a bitter taste and it’s hard to think of any positives during the 96 minutes, there were a few. Striker Elijah Adebayo did more than just impress during his first start, he also scored the goal that put Luton into the lead. The 6”4’ deadline day signing was a handful for the Millwall defense not only with his aerial threat but also his technical ability with the ball at his feet. His performance deserved the goal he got, even if it was a little lucky, and he probably could have added a second but his header went over the bar.

Forward Thomas Ince also proved to be a thorn in the side of the Millwall defense with some lovely runs and passes, which was handy as midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had a rare off-night. He faded in the second half as tiredness set in and Millwall pushed for an equalizer, but it’s no coincidence either Ince or Adebayo were not on the pitch when the inevitable Millwall goal finally arrived. We need both to get up to full fitness as quickly as possible.

TWO MUST WIN GAMES

Next up for the Hatters is Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday at Kenilworth Road before traveling to Nottingham Forest next Tuesday. Both could be called must-win games as Sheffield Wednesday is second from the bottom while Nottingham Forest is only one point ahead of Luton. It gives Nathan Jones’ men a chance to open a gap between themselves and the relegation zone. Let’s hope they learned their lesson against Millwall and don’t try time-waste with ten minutes remaining if in the lead.