Championship
LutonLuton Town1ReadingReading0

Luton Town 1-0 Reading: Harry Cornick goal gets Hatters into play-offs

Luton celebrate
Harry Cornick tapped into an empty net after Reading keeper Orjan Nyland failed to see the Luton forward behind him

Harry Cornick secured a Championship play-off place for Luton after an embarrassing mistake by Reading goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, which will be destined for the bloopers archive.

Cornick's goal in first-half stoppage time ensured the Hatters finished sixth in the table, and they will now face Huddersfield in the play-off semi-finals as their Premier League dream lives on.

The goal came after Norwegian Nyland rolled the ball to the top of his penalty area as he prepared to clear, totally unaware that Cornick was hiding behind him.

To his horror, the Luton striker sprinted into view, touched the ball into space, swivelled and turned the ball into an empty net with his right boot as the hapless goalkeeper looked on.

Eight years after they were a non-league side, Luton knew victory would secure their place in the Championship top six, but they had to respond to Monday's 7-0 humiliation at Fulham.

Reading were already safe but this was their 25th defeat of the season. Paul Ince's side finished 21st, four points above the bottom three.

Luton should have gone ahead in the opening minutes as Cameron Jerome was sent through on goal, but he could not beat Nyland.

Jerome came close in the second half as he crashed a shot against the bar and James Bree also curled a free-kick just wide.

The insurance goal would not come for Nathan Jones' side but scores elsewhere ensured a peaceful finale for the home side - with Middlesbrough and Millwall both losing.

Reading came close to an equaliser midway through the second half but Matt Ingram saved Michael Morrison's back-post header from Josh Laurent's cross.

Luton manager Nathan Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"We were aware of the scores elsewhere so there weren't too many nerves.

"I'm just glad we won the game and we got to 75 points, which was our goal at the start of the season.

"We've had a magnificent season, we were here two years ago to stay in the league and now we've got an opportunity to get out of the league.

"I'm so proud of the whole club."

Reading manager Paul Ince told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"I told the boys to go and express themselves but we started slow and since I've been here we have times we start slow and it's cost us.

"It was down to one moment and you feel for the goalkeeper because he also made a tremendous save.

"I was just glad we didn't need a point today.

"Second half I thought we were excellent and deserved an equaliser."

Line-ups

Luton

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 27Ingram
  • 16Burke
  • 5Bradley
  • 4Naismith
  • 23Lansbury
  • 2Bree
  • 22CampbellSubstituted forSnodgrassat 78'minutes
  • 18Clark
  • 29Bell
  • 35JeromeSubstituted forHyltonat 90'minutes
  • 7CornickSubstituted forMuskweat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Potts
  • 9Hylton
  • 12Snodgrass
  • 14Mendes Gomes
  • 15Lockyer
  • 21Isted
  • 26Muskwe

Reading

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Nyland
  • 12Thomas
  • 4Morrison
  • 3HolmesSubstituted forAbrefaat 84'minutes
  • 21BabaBooked at 41mins
  • 28Laurent
  • 5McIntyre
  • 11MeiteSubstituted forScottat 74'minutes
  • 14Ejaria
  • 23HoilettSubstituted forDele-Bashiruat 78'minutes
  • 18Lucas João

Substitutes

  • 16Tetek
  • 19Dele-Bashiru
  • 22Southwood
  • 35Ehibhationham
  • 43Abbey
  • 49Abrefa
  • 52Scott
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
10,070

Match Stats

Home TeamLutonAway TeamReading
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home16
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Luton Town 1, Reading 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Luton Town 1, Reading 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Kelvin Abrefa (Reading).

  4. Post update

    Amari'i Bell (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Josh Laurent (Reading).

  6. Post update

    Henri Lansbury (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Rashawn Scott (Reading).

  8. Post update

    Jordan Clark (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Luton Town. James Bree tries a through ball, but Danny Hylton is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tom Dele-Bashiru (Reading).

  11. Post update

    Henri Lansbury (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Luton Town. Danny Hylton replaces Cameron Jerome.

  13. Post update

    Ovie Ejaria (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Luton Town).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Kelvin Abrefa replaces Thomas Holmes because of an injury.

  16. Post update

    Lucas João (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Reece Burke (Luton Town).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Morrison (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Tom McIntyre.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rashawn Scott (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ovie Ejaria.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Tom Dele-Bashiru replaces Junior Hoilett.

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