Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson labelled his side’s 2-1 defeat at Luton as a “missed opportunity”.
The Robins were the better team on the night but fell behind to Tom Lockyer’s header after 42 minutes.
Although Andreas Weimann levelled 11 minutes into the second half, Elijah Adebayo bundled over the line from close range in the 68th minute to earn the victory.
Pearson said: “That was a missed opportunity for us. It’s happened too often this season and it remains a big frustration for us.
“It’s happening because we can’t defend set pieces. We’re relying too heavily on one, two or three players winning everything – if they can’t then we don’t have a collective responsibility.
“We created the best chances in the game. I can’t remember too many attempts on goal or saves that our keeper had to make.
“We’ve not shown ways of being able to get results in tight games when actually the least we should have got tonight was a point.
“Luton defended quite well and fill the middle of the pitch. They don’t allow you a lot of space.
“In the second half the game was more open and we created a lot more chances.
“But it’s another game where we’ve come away with nothing because we’re not efficient enough.
“We can’t expect to score two goals every game to get a point.”
After a first half which was low on scoring chances, Luton went in front just before half-time when James Bree’s cross was headed home by former Bristol Rovers defender Lockyer for his first Town goal.
After the break, Weimann went clean through to make it 1-1, clinically netting his 14th goal of the season, but the Hatters were back in front when Adebayo pounced.
Luton boss Nathan Jones said: “Performance-wise we’re a mile off where we want to be, but we’ve had so many games and we haven’t played well but we’ve managed to grind out a result.
“We know we can play better, we know we will play better.
“We’ve had to make six changes tonight, most of them enforced and then we’ve put four or five of them in that haven’t played football in six, seven weeks.
“So in that context we’re delighted with the win, performance-wise we’ve got to get better, but it happens.
“Bristol were probably better than us tonight, and that’s not often we can say that to a team that comes here.
“So they contributed to a good performance, we contributed to a poor performance, but at the end of the day we’ve gone into the top 10.”
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