Match Reports

Report | Hatters slip to defeat at the Gtech


Brentford 3Maupay 49, Mee 56, Baptiste 81

Town 1Brown 77

A nightmare start to the second half helped condemn the Hatters to a defeat at Brentford.

Having lost captain Tom Lockyer through injury at half-time, the Town conceded twice in a six-minute spell early in the second half to give the hosts a two-goal lead.

The Hatters, so often staying in games this season and scoring goals late in the final 15 minutes, added another to their tally when substitute Jacob Brown halved the deficit.

But the Bees made sure of victory with nine minutes left when Shandon Baptiste made it 3-1 to consign the Hatters to defeat.

Showing two changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace last weekend, the Town started with Issa Kabore and Tahith Chong. A hip injury ruled Alfie Doughty out of the side, while Andros Townsend dropped to the bench.

The first half saw the Hatters defend well to keep the Bees at arms’ length. Clear-cut chances were few and far between – especially for those supporting the Town with Carlton Morris relying on scraps.

Brentford were getting frustrated as the Hatters defence held firm with Lockyer in particular impressing in the centre of the defence.

Bryan Mbeumo has the hosts’ first real effort that looked remotely danger on 37 minutes with a curling low shot that whistled just wide.

The Bees then thought they should have had a penalty five minute later when the ball appeared to strike the arm of Kabore in the box. Referee Anthony Taylor and VAR were unmoved.

Getting to half-time goalless did not come without repercussions, however, as Lockyer remained on the turf inside the penalty area as the players headed for the dressing room and the skipper would not reappear for the second half and was replaced by Brown.

But with the Town still rearranging themselves in defence, it took Brentford four minutes after the restart to the take the lead when Neal Maupay tucked home from close range after the Hatters failed to clear their lines. It came after Chong appeared to be fouled in the build-up but despite the Hatters’ protests the goal stood – and Chong was cautioned for dissent.

And on 56 minutes the hosts doubled their lead. Mbeumo’s corner was met by Ben Mee and the defender’s header was deflected off striker Morris giving Thomas Kaminski no chance.

With a mountain to climb, Edwards made a triple change on the hour with Elijah Adebayo, Andros Townsend and Jordan Clark introduced.

Chances for the Hatters remained slim but just as Brentford appeared to take their foot off the gas, out of the blue, Brown finished well on his left foot from just inside the penalty area after Ross Barkley’s through ball. 2-1 with 13 minutes left.

But hopes of a comeback similar to the draw at Nottingham Forest earlier in the campaign were dashed when the Bees made the game safe with eight minutes left.

The Town defence were again unable to clear their lines to full affect and substitute Baptiste was on hand to find the target from close range.

Two goals behind the Hatters continued to rally. A close offside call denied Chong’s header from making it 3-2 in the final minute but, after an additional eight minutes, the hosts saw the game out and the Town were left to reflect on a disappointing afternoon.

Up next. Leaders Arsenal at the Kenny. See you then.

Town: Kaminski; Kaboré, Bell, Mengi (sub Giles 76), Lockyer (sub Brown 46), Osho; Mpanzu (sub Clark 60), Barkley; Ogbene (sub Townsend 60), Chong, Morris (sub Adebayo 60).

Subs not used: Krul, Berry, Johnson, Nelson.

Attendance: 17,075, including 1,725 supporting the Town.

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