MX23RW : Monday, August 2 09:45:07| >> :600:689299:689299:
Jan 1, 2020 at 12.45pm UK at The Den
Attendance: 12,134
LutonLuton Town
Bradshaw (69'), Mahoney (78'), Smith (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bradley (41')

Graeme Jones admits Luton have found it "difficult" on the road

Graeme Jones admits Luton have found it
© Reuters
Gary Rowett reserved praise for Lions goalscorer Connor Mahoney.

Luton manager Graeme Jones felt the defeat at Millwall summed up his Hatters' struggles on the road this season after a second-half capitulation resulted in a 3-1 loss at The Den.

Sonny Bradley's first-half header had put Luton ahead in their bid to arrest a run of eight successive away defeats in the Sky Bet Championship.

But Millwall fought back after the break, with Tom Bradshaw, Connor Mahoney and Matt Smith stunning the hapless visitors, who remain in the bottom three.

"The game plan worked really, really well, but we couldn't sustain it," said Jones. "It's been the story of our away season, since (victory at) Blackburn.

"We've found it difficult. I could talk about the positives, but I don't think anyone wants to hear that. It was a resolute display, for 70 minutes. But we couldn't hold out, and that's what disappoints me.

"For large periods I was delighted but we couldn't see it out. The linesman's flag goes at 1-0 up, but the referee plays advantage and the wrong thing from our players is not playing to the whistle.

"I had five players stopping – the ball goes in the box, goal. On the second goal I've got (centre-back) Matty Pearson dribbling up the pitch – I've certainly never asked him to do that – and in transition Alan Sheehan is running back and he gets cramp.

"And that is just the definition of where we are at the minute. We need to have a level head, be sensible, get our best players fit, and we need to get some reinforcements in."

Bradley's first-half header from a Sheehan delivery put Luton ahead, prompting Millwall manager Gary Rowett to throw Bradshaw on before half-time.

He headed his side level but Mahoney's introduction proved vital as he scored a fine individual goal before teeing up Smith for the game-killing third.

"I just felt Connor might give us a moment of magic because he's got that quality," said Rowett. "It was a fabulous run from him. He fakes to shoot, the defender slides in and it just opens the space up momentarily.

"Then we could put the foot on the gas, another fabulous ball in from Connor and Smith doesn't miss from there, it's why he's in the team.

"I said to them at half-time, 'you're a goal down, you've performed poorly, I don't really care about the result, I just want to see a better performance and be braver, play with more quality'.

"I thought we started the second half with a much better intensity, pinned them in and put them under pressure.

"And when you're in the position Luton are in, if we could get the first goal in the second half, we knew we'd go on and win the game."

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General view of Luton Town's Kenilworth Road from August 2014
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Luton Town: Transfer ins and outs - January 2020

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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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