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Clever Harry Cornick seals Luton’s place in play-offs after beating Reading

Harry Cornick celebrates scoring Luton’s goal against Reading (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Harry Cornick celebrates scoring Luton’s goal against Reading (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Harry Cornick’s moment of quick-thinking on the stroke of half-time saw Luton secure their Championship play-off place with a 1-0 victory over Reading.

Up against a side who had nothing to play for, a win was all the hosts needed and they managed it thanks to Cornick’s 13th goal of the season.

Any result might have done for the hosts depending on scores elsewhere while with Middlesbrough and Millwall going on to lose, it meant events at Kenilworth Road actually didn’t matter a great deal in the end.

Town wasted a glorious chance in the opening minute as Jordan Clark sent Cameron Jerome clean through but the experienced striker could only shoot low down at Orjan Nyland, who saved comfortably.

Allan Campbell then fired over the bar on the run from Jerome’s knockdown as Town looked to make a fast start to proceedings, Campbell also heading straight at Nyland and Sonny Bradley putting James Bree’s free-kick too close to the Royals stopper.

Jerome had another effort when meeting Reece Burke’s cross but couldn’t keep his header down.

Reading threatened to spoil the party when Ovie Ejaria broke into the box but his deflected attempt was parried by the body of Matt Ingram.

At the other end, Bree tried his luck from a free-kick which did not miss the bottom corner by much.

Town then took the lead on the stroke of half-time with a goal Nyland will not want to see back again.

After gathering Amari’i Bell’s low cross, he took his time before dropping the ball to the floor to clear, only to fail to see Cornick lurking behind him.

The Luton attacker nipped in to take a touch and slot the ball into the net for a huge goal in Town’s play off bid.

After the break, Cornick was first to show once more, his header going over the top from Burke’s delivery.

Town stayed on the front foot, though, a rebound falling to Bree 25 yards from goal as he curled narrowly wide of the target before Jerome fashioned a shooting chance all for himself, crashing his effort against the woodwork and away.

Reading went close when Michael Morrison reached a deep cross at the back post, his header rebounding off keeper Ingram before Yakou Meite dragged wide from the edge of the box.

Bradley did superbly to block from Morrison as the centre-back had a go from range, slicing tamely wide of the goal.

The final few minutes turned into a celebration for the Hatters’ faithful, safe in the knowledge their season was extended by a further two games and hopefully a final at Wembley.

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