Match Reports


The Hatters fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage despite a promising second half showing.


Aleksandar Mitrovic put the hosts two goals to the good by the 53rd minute, but Dan Potts did get one back for the Hatters on the hour mark to increase the pressure on Fulham during an impressive start to the second half.Despite gaining momentum, the Serbian forward completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute to make the score 3-1, before Kazenga LuaLua scored his first goal of the season late in added time, to give the Cottagers a nervy end to the game.After Ivan Cavaleiro had a comfortable effort saved by James Shea in the opening exchanges, the Hatters were next to trouble as Potts got his head to Izzy Brown’s corner, but Marek Rodak saved comfortably. James Collins came closer to scoring the opening goal as Brown slid the ball through to him, but his stretched effort went just wide of the post. In the 16th minute after a good spell of Town pressure, Mitrovic gave Fulham the lead with a thumping finish. Cavaleiro found space inside, played the ball to the number nine and he emphatically finished past Shea. The goalkeeper did his best to keep the Hatters in the game as he made two fine saves from Cavaleiro and Mitrovic just after the 20 minute mark, first with his legs and then a strong parry away from goal.Brown led the charge to try and get the Hatters back into the contest just after the half-hour mark. He drove forward with pace, set the ball to Collins on the left-hand-side, but uncharacteristically, his first-time effort went over the bar. The Hatters started the second half brilliantly and had two good chances within the space of five minutes. Forty seconds after the restart, Cornick hit the side netting after Brown laid the ball off to him. Brown then went close himself, but his deflected effort went just wide of the post. Similar to their opening goal, Fulham flurried forward after a wave of Luton attacks to go two-nil up. Knockaert sent the ball down the line to Bobby Decordova-Reid and his quick, first time delivery was tapped home by Mitrovic. On the hour mark, Luton got a deserved goal back through Potts, his first in just over a year since heading in the injury-time winner at Oxford.Brown delivered a fantastic free-kick into the box and Potts glanced his header off the surface and into the top corner. It took seven minutes for the hosts to restore their two-goal advantage as Mitrovic completed his hat-trick, heading home from Joe Bryan’s cross into the box. The Serbian’s third of the game increased his total for the season to 11 goals, a tally that makes him the Championship’s top goalscorer. Shea was forced into a good low save to deny Cavaleiro with eight minutes left, before Hatters substitute LuaLua scored a late consolation in added time. Fellow sub Luke Bolton put a tantalising ball across the box which evaded everyone apart from LuaLua, who stabbed home at the back post.After trying desperately to get the ball back into the box after the restart, referee John Brooks blew for full-time as Town couldn’t manage successive wins in the Sky Bet Championship despite their excellent efforts to try and do so.FULHAM: Rodak, Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Bryan, Cairney, Reed (McDonald 85), Decordova-Reid (Johansen 81), Cavaleiro, Knockaert (Onomah 70), Mitrovic. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Le Marchand, Sessegnon, Kamara. Goals: Mitrovic (16, 53, 67)Yellows: Cairney TOWN: Shea, Bree (Bolton 70), Pearson, Cranie, Bradley, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Brown, Cornick (LuaLua 78), Collins (McManaman 78). Subs not used: Sluga, Shinnie, Jones, Butterfield.Goals: Potts (60) LuaLua (90)Referee: John Brooks Attendance: 18,082 (1,970 Hatters)

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