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6 January 2018

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Town boss Nathan Jones was proud of his side's second half performance, but disappointed overall as the Hatters fell to a 3-1 defeat at Newcastle United which sees them knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup.

The hosts netted all three of their goals in nine first half minutes, as Ayoze Perez pounced on an error from Marek Stech to open the scoring on the half hour mark, before he doubled his tally six minutes later. Jonjo Shelvey slotted away in the 39th minute to put the Hatters in a difficult position.

They came out fighting and Danny Hylton scored his 17th goal of the season four minutes after the restart, before emphatically firing home what would've been his 18th, but it was wrongly ruled offside in the 57th minute.

The Hatters were certainly the better side in the second half and Elliot Lee hit the crossbar from a free-kick before Luke Gambin fired wide late on, but the hosts saw out the result to ensure they made it through to the fourth round of the competition.

Jones said: "I am very proud of the second half performance, but the overall feeling I've got is disappointment really. For 25 minutes we didn't have a problem, it was a really even game. They're a good side and they move the ball well, they defended the ball well. We had a few moments as well, a little bit more quality and we might have punished them.

"But when you make three errors and you go three down against a Premier League side and you're a League Two side, it's some mountain to climb. That's what it was. The first goal came out of nothing, no problem, big error. And then we're in possession and we give the ball away twice, they're in and they score.

"That's the margins when you come up against these big sides. If you give balls away in dangerous areas – we worked on that all week, because we know that's their strength, their counter-attacking strength. Then they punished us and fair play to them.

"They punished us first half, but then it's important to get the next goal and not to concede and let the flood gates open."

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