Huge relief for Hatters attacker Cornick as he is finally off the mark with Latics goal

Harry Cornick heads home to make it 1-1 against Wigan on SaturdayHarry Cornick heads home to make it 1-1 against Wigan on Saturday
Harry Cornick heads home to make it 1-1 against Wigan on Saturday
Town forward up and running for the season after scoring in the FA Cup

Luton attacker Harry Cornick admitted it was a huge relief that he finally got off the mark for the season with his opening goal against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The 27-year-old had gone 18 games without scoring this term, his last goal coming some 20 matches ago in fact, that on May 7, when he hid behind Reading keeper Orjan Nyland at Kenilworth Road, nicked the ball off the Norwegian and then found the empty net for the winner, a 13th of his most prolific term in a Town shirt.

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In and out of the side this season though due to injury and form, Cornick had gone close at the weekend before scoring, racing away on the left after being sprung by Carlton Morris, but with defenders back, his attempt to bend an effort into the bottom corner, fell narrowly wide.

He had better fortune on the stroke of half time though, as when Morris was released by Louie Watson’s pass, the forward unveiled his now customary stepovers, dinking over an inviting cross that Cornick arrived on cue to glance into the net via the inside of the post.

The forward, who is now up to 37 goals in 231 appearances in a Luton shirt, said: “For my part it’s a lot of relief off my shoulders and hopefully I can score a few more and help the team get into the play-offs and all the way this year.

“It's been a long time coming, it’s been a stop start-y season for me with injuries, loads of strikers in the squad and not getting my chance at times.

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"Then getting in and then coming out, it’s nice to get a goal and get going for the season, so hopefully a few more will come.

"I thought that (first chance) was going in.

"I thought that was the better chance for me, but it just went wide, which was my luck at the minute, not getting a goal.

“I’ve scored a few headers recently, well not this season but last season, so hopefully a few more, however they come.

"Tap-ins, whatever I can do to score, I’ll try my best and hopefully they keep on coming now.”

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Cornick’s maiden strike of the campaign drew the Hatters level after Tom Naylor had put the Latics in front after just 17 minutes, reacting quickest to tap home after a brilliant save by Ethan Horvath.

It capped a disappointing start for the Hatters, as Cornick knew they weren’t at their best in the opening stages, continuing: “We started really sloppy, it was a bad goal for us to concede from a set-piece.

“We don’t usually do that, so we’ll have to look into that and then we couldn’t really get going in the game.

“A slow game, the ball not in play that much and then we struggled to create chances.

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"Lucky to get the goal and then kick on second half, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and get the winner, so on to the replay.”

With Luton looking to build some momentum in the second period, going on to enjoy over 70 per cent possession, they appeared the more likely to bag a winner, particularly when Alfie Doughty came on.

However, a number of substitutions from both sides, which included Cornick being replaced by Cameron Jerome on 72 minutes, saw the game stunted, and in the end Town were grateful for a superb injury time save from Horvath, and a disallowed goal to see them stay in the cup.

Cornick added: “It’s the way it is, a lot of changes, people getting minutes.

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“The game was a bit slow at times, the ball was out of play and then taking an age to get back in, the ref wasn’t speeding it up and we couldn’t really get going as we do at home usually.

"We get the ball in play, restart and start steamrolling people, but we couldn’t really do that.

"We struggled in the first half so we need to work on that, and then second half it was just about getting the ball in the back of the net.

"We didn’t create enough chances, and when we did get a chance to make a chance we weren’t really doing that so we’ll have to work on that as well.

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“We got a head of steam, started getting the ball in the box, making chances, getting on the front foot which is what we do so well.

"I’m not sure why we couldn’t get that going in the first half, but the second half was a much better performance.

"We need to take into Saturday as we’ve got a tough game against West Brom.”