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Ex-Gloucestershire manager victim of heroic Premier League comeback as Luton Town let lead slip against Bournemouth

Former Forest Green Rovers head coach Rob Edwards saw his Luton Town side defeated last night, despite being three goals ahead at half-time against Bournemouth.

Edwards’ men bounded ahead in the first half through Tahith Chong, Chiedozie Ogbene and Ross Barkley, but were pegged back dramatically by the Cherries.

Striker Dominic Solanke began the comeback with a sublime solo effort before Illia Zabarnyi headed an effort just over the line for a second.

Antoine Semenyo completed the job, with two goals in 20 second-half minutes to propel Bournemouth to a 4-3 win, leaving Luton boss Edwards devastated.

The former Rovers gaffer departed the New Lawn in 2022 after securing the first promotion to EFL League One in the club’s history, taking over from Roy Hodgson at newly-relegated Championship outfit Watford.

Edwards, though, soon met the same fate as many Hornets managers under owner Gino Pozzo and was sacked after a poor run of form – he then joined Watford’s M1 rivals Luton.

Now in his first Premier League campaign with the Hatters, Edwards was understandably punctured by his side’s collapse at the Vitality Stadium.

“Of course I’ve got to take responsibility,” Luton boss Rob Edwards told BBC Sport.

“We went 3-0 up, then we gave them encouragement.

“They have brilliant quality, especially in one-on-one situations, and we didn’t defend those moments well enough.

“There’s lots for us to look back at and dissect, I felt there were similarities in the build-ups to the goals.

“We’ve got to defend better in those situations, when you’re 3-0 up there’s no excuse.

“The warning signs were there for us, especially at half-time there was lots we weren’t happy with.

“We allowed the ball into our box too easily at times, in the first half we looked a real threat going forwards.

“It’s going to hurt but we’ve got another big game in a few days time.

“There’s no other option but to get back to work.

“We’re not out of this fight at all, our job is to patch ourselves out and win the next game.”

The night was centred around Luton captain Tom Lockyer, who collapsed during the two teams’ fixture in December due to a cardiac arrest.

That match was abandoned, and the centre-back, who played under Cheltenham Town manager Darrell Clarke at Bristol Rovers, attended the rearranged fixture to thank medical staff who aided him.

“I got a little bit emotional,” Lockyer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I am quite numb to the whole thing but being back here, I came into the tunnel area and saw the paramedics that saved my life.

“I recognised them straight away.

“What do you say in that situation other than ‘thank you’? They are heroes and they saved my life.”

Luton are three points from safety in the top-flight and are set to welcome Nottingham Forest, the side directly above them, to Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

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