Luton attacker Harry Cornick couldn’t quite believe he wasn’t spotted by Reading goalkeeper Orjan Nyland ahead of his magnificently inventive and imaginative winner at Kenilworth Road which secured a play-off place for the Hatters this afternoon.
In first half stoppage time, the Norwegian stopper, who had impressed in the opening 45 minutes, did well to gather Amari’i Bell’s low cross into the area before preparing to clear his lines.
Dropping the ball from his grasp, he was left red faced, as in a flash, Cornick nipped into steal it off his toes and then slot into the empty net for his 13th of the season.
It was such quick thinking from the Luton attacker that Sky even missed it in their live coverage, showing a replay of the initial cross, only just cutting back in time to see his shot cross the line.
Cornick admitted it was something he had been thinking of during the contest, but didn’t think he would get away with it, saying: “I thought the goalie’s thrown it out a few times, just rolled it out and kicked it, so I’d try my luck and low and behold, he’s rolled it out.
“I just thought the first few times he’s tried to roll it out and kick it long, so I thought I’d give it a go and it’s worked.
"Their fans were screaming ‘man on, man on,’ I thought ‘they’re going to give me up, going to give me away!’
"But he didn’t hear obviously, it’s a gift really, so I’m happy to take it, happy to get the goal and a huge win today.”
The goal even caught out some of Cornick’s team-mates too, as he continued: “I thought surely one of their players is watching me and going to scream at him, but a couple of lads in there (Luton dressing room) were going ‘I had no idea, I just turned around and you scored!’
“So I guess everyone was facing the other way waiting to walk in, he was just trying to take a quick goal kick and I was happy to take it.”
When asked if it was something that Town had worked on prior to the match, boss Nathan Jones added: “I’d love to say yes, but it’s improvisation, quick thinking.
"I don’t care how we score, as long as we score one more than the opposition, so one more than the opposition and we have half a chance of doing something.
"I’m just so pleased and relieved as it’s so much pressure.
“It’s clever, I've been in games, Bobby Zamora did it once (for Brighton) against Chesterfield away and we roomed together.
"He was talking about it because he saw (Gary) Crosby’s goal for Forest when he clipped it out of the keepers’ (former Luton stopper Andy Dibble) hands.
"So they think about it, it’s clever.
"Cameron Jerome had a chance, we had balls across, in the end, I don't care how we score.”