Skip to main content

Millwall boss Gary Rowett rues missed opportunity after late Luton equaliser

Luton Town v Millwall – Sky Bet Championship – Kenilworth Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Millwall boss Gary Rowett was left frustrated his side failed to hold on for a victory that would have further boosted their play-off chances after conceding a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at fourth-placed Luton.

With three minutes to go, Lions skipper Jake Cooper put through his own net from Robert Snodgrass’ dangerous free-kick, as the visitors remained four points adrift of the top six with seven games to go.

Rowett said: “If you take the game in its entirety in terms of pressure, we had the better first half; I thought we were excellent first half.

“They put us under the cosh a little bit second half, at times, I couldn’t stand here and say the performance deserved for us to easily win the game.

“But I think when you get to 86 minutes and you’re a team like us you’ve got to see a set-piece out to probably win the game.

“Yes we could have a bit more fortunate – I think Cameron Jerome doesn’t head it properly, gets a flick, it could go anywhere, hits Jake Cooper on the back of the head and shoulder and ends up sailing into the back of the net, which seems to be a bit symptomatic of our fortune at the moment.

“It’s still 86 minutes and I expect us to go and win the game, regardless of how we got there.

“At this stage of the season with seven games left, you don’t get another bite at the cherry in those moments – you have to go and take them and that was a disappointment.

“It’s another good result, but it’s a disappointing result for us which I think shows the level of our efforts.

“We’ve now got two home games in a week that we’ve got to go and be positive about.”

The Lions had moved ahead on 25 minutes, Tom Bradshaw’s first-time effort from 20 yards arrowing into the bottom corner.

A wonderful team goal drew the Hatters level eight minutes later though, Amari’i Bell picking out Elijah Adebayo who slotted past Lions keeper Bartosz Bialkowski via the inside of the post.

After the break, Harry Cornick shot straight at the Millwall stopper when clean through, before Rowett thought his side had won it on 81 minutes, Oliver Burke’s cross clinically finished by Benik Afobe.

But Cooper’s own goal snatched a point for Luton.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones said: “It just reiterates we’ve got great character.

“We know we’ve got great character, we can go toe-to-toe with people, we can go away and win, we can be decimated by injuries and we can win, all those things happen and they show character as they want to do something.

“With seven games to go we’re right in the mix, two points away with a game in hand on Huddersfield. We’ve got to go to them next week, it’s a wonderful position to be in and we’re really happy.

“There’s a long way to go but it shows we’ve got character, shows we’ve got energy, shows we’ve got certain characteristics that you need to do well in the Championship and we are doing well.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1