• Ben Watts

Luton Town 3-1 Middlesbrough: Match report

Middlesbrough suffered a 3-1 defeat against Luton Town following a five-minute collapse at Kenilworth Road.

A defensive disaster-class ensured that a night in which Neil Warnock led a record-breaking 1602nd game in management ended on a sour note.

The gaffer made four changes to the side that lost at the Riverside on Saturday; with Luke Daniels replacing Joe Lumley following his poor performance last time out and Josh Coburn getting his first start for the club.

Isaiah Jones and Anfernee Dijksteel also came into the starting line-up as Warnock stuck with the 3-5-2 formation that he has favoured for most of the season.

It was Boro who started the game on the front foot and 12 minutes in the ball was in the back of the Luton net after Tavernier fired home, however, the whistle had already gone after Onel Hernandez’s cross went narrowly out of play before Jones could hook it across goal.

Three minutes later Middlesbrough found the back of the net again and this time the celebrations weren’t cut short after Josh Coburn converted.

Tavernier was allowed too much space in the midfield and found a simple pass to Matt Crooks who threaded it through to Sporar who drilled it in towards Coburn for the finish at the back post.

On 35 minutes Boro could’ve had the chance to extend their lead after Howson won the ball back high up the pitch; however, Tavernier’s ball was played behind Sporar leading to the breakdown of the attack.

Late in the second half Luton had two chances through Harry Cornic and Elijah Adebayo from set pieces due to poor Boro defending, but Warnock's side were let off the hook by some poor finishing.

Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the second half.

Luton came out with much more aggression in the second half and leveled the match from a corner in the 57th minute with Sonny Bradley was allowed to rise unmarked and head home.

Three minutes later it was made 2-1 to Luton after Boro failed to clear with Adebayo turning in the box and slotting past an unsighted Luke Daniels.

Things went from bad to worse minutes later when the Hatters bagged a third as Tavernier cheaply conceded possession in a dangerous area., leading Cornick to wander through and finish calmly.

Middlesbrough looked shell-shocked by the five-minute comeback and rarely looked like getting themselves back into the game in the remaining moments of the game.

Despite the result, Boro's star man was probably Isaiah Jones.

The young winger looked bright going forward and caused problems when committing defenders.

He had the 2nd most touches in the Boro squad with 58 (behind McNair), made three key passes and completed two out of his attempted three dribbles.

Jones also provided two possible penalty shouts for Boro however both were waved away by the officials.

So, where from here? Well Boro take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday at the Hawthorns and will be looking to arrest a slump of two straight defeats before it turns into anything more serious.

Let’s hope Warnock’s 1603rd game in management is better than his 1602nd!

Be sure to tune in to the latest Boro Breakdown podcast for all your matchday chatter in a pod, which you can find here.

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