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Chris Hughton rues missed chances as Nottingham Forest lose to Luton

Derby County v Nottingham Forest – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Chris Hughton again lamented Nottingham Forest’s lack of cutting edge as Luton left the City Ground with a 1-0 win.

Forest almost entirely dominated the first half but failed to make the most of their chances, with Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray missing big opportunities in the Championship contest.

Simon Sluga also made a big save to deny James Garner after the interval, before Ryan Tunnicliffe scored the only goal in the 64th minute when he converted a cross from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

After that Luton looked relatively comfortable and left Hughton ruing missed opportunities.

The Forest boss said: “It was a very good first-half performance, we started the game well and had really good chances. Of course, if you go through a period of the game and don’t take those chances, you know the opposition will have some of their own.

“To come in at 0-0, they would have been lifted by that. They would have felt that they could only be better in the second half.

“We were disappointed that, after they had scored, we didn’t really create anything like the kind of chances we had done in the first half.

“It is the same story again – if you do not put your chances away, we are playing against good teams who will fight for 90 minutes and you end up having to look at the goal you concede and pick the bones out of it.

“It was a poor goal we conceded. I would rather be stood here talking about us taking our chances.

“We have become a team that is a solid team with a good structure and can win games in a certain way.

“What we have found it very difficult to do is have those comfortable games where we take our chances and go into half-time winning 2-0, knowing it is down to the opposition to come at us.”

Luton first-team coach Chris Cohen – who is a fan favourite at the City Ground – admitted that the visitors had rode their luck in the first period but felt their second-half display was much better.

Cohen said: “The boys worked incredibly hard in that first half when Forest were on top and had better chances to take the lead. Going into half-time at 0-0 was really important for us. We knew we could play better.

“In the second half we were brilliant. We came out, we passed the ball better, we scored a brilliant goal and had other opportunities, against a really good Forest team.

“We wanted to come out and be brave and bold. We knew if we could get in at 0-0 at half time, we might be able to hurt them on the counter attack. Ryan Tunnicliffe scored a great goal for us, for the second game running.

“He has not played as many games as he might like this season but he has worked really hard on the training ground to earn his opportunity – and he has taken that chance when it came.

“It was a brilliant night for us, all round.”