Luton secure back-to-back wins for the first time this season with Royals triumph

Championship: Reading 0 Luton Town 2

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 10:04 pm
Allan Campbell scored for the second successive game as Luton beat Reading this evening
Allan Campbell scored for the second successive game as Luton beat Reading this evening

Luton recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season as they heaped more misery on a desperately poor Reading side at the Select Car Leasing Stadium this evening.

In following up their excellent triumph against Bournemouth on Saturday, the Hatters also ended their 22-year wait for a league win in Berkshire, the last time they managed three points back in August 1999 when goals from Andrew Fotiadis and Liam George sealed a 2-1 Division Two success.

This time around they always looked by far the more likely side, with their struggling hosts suffering from a severe lack of confidence, facing their fans for the first time following a 7-0 thumping at the hands of free-scoring Fulham and without a win on home soil since October.

Town made one change to their side, James Bree seeing his ever-present record ended due to a tight hamstring, Peter Kioso straight back in following his recall from MK Dons earlier in the week.

The visitors made a positive start to proceedings, Elijah Adebayo looking dangerous, the forward having the first opening on 10 minutes, found by Cameron Jerome's clever header from Reece Burke's ball forward.

He opted to shoot, when a pass to the unmarked Jordan Clark might have been the better option, slicing waywardly over the top.

Neither side could really grab a foothold in a scrappy first period, Luton then managing to gain a slight foothold, Clark taking a quick free kick before advancing into the area and seeing his effort deflected over by a covering defender.

However, the midfielder was to play a big role in Luton taking the lead on 33, when he scampered away on the left and found the overlapping Amari'i Bell.

The Jamaican international looked up and delivered an excellent low cross that was met by the diving head of home defender Tom Holmes, who powered his attempted clearance beyond Luke Southwood and into the bottom corner as Town took the lead from an own goal for the second game running.

John Swift almost levelled instantly, given space to line up a shot on his left foot, dragging wide of James Shea's goal.

Luton went close to a second, again from a Reading player, as full back Tyrell Ashcroft, under pressure from Adebayo, stooped to put Burke's deep cross only just past the far post.

After the break, Reading had what was technically an effort on target, on-loan Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater's header plucked out of the sky by James Shea.

Luton then looked for what you felt would be a killer second against a side completely bereft of any kind of spirit, particularly on home soil, their fans already voicing their discontent with proceedings.

Naismith looked for his third goal in as many games, with an excellent block tackle and trying his luck on his right foot, saw Southwood unconvincingly shovelling the ball away, Clark's follow up cross headed behind from underneath the bar.

From Naismith's corner, a bout of pinball ensued, Bradley's shot charged down, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's ambitious first time blast from 20 yards always rising.

George Puscas saw his tame header from Ethan Bristow's comfortable for Shea, as Luton's better quality shone through again on 58 minutes, taking what looked an insurmountable lead.

Adebayo did excellently to pressure the hosts defence into a mistake, as he held the ball up and found Mpanzu, who squeezed a terrific ball through the Royals back-line for the striker.

He looked up and sent over a low cross for the sliding Campbell to turn home for his second goal in as many matches.

The goal weirdly sparked a response from Reading, who had their best few minutes in an attacking sense, Ethan Bairstow's potshot leading to a corner and then Swift firing straight at Shea.

Back came Luton as the match suddenly took on an end to end affair that never looked like materialising in the dull first period, as Campbell nicked the ball through to Kioso on the right and his low drive was ungainly repelled by the legs of Southwood.

Camphell then might have had another himself, found after some splendid work by Adebayo, drilling low at Southwood who this time handled solidly.

The action then calmed somewhat, Lucas Joao's downward header off target, as Town were able to ring the changes as the game wore down, one of them, Fred Onyedinma almost the architect of a third, but Adebayo was flagged offside after tapping home his cross-shot from a matter of inches.

Apart from robbing the forward of a 12th goal this term, it didn't matter a great deal, as Luton climbed up to 11th in the table and are now just seven points off the play-off places with two matches in hand.

Royals: Luke Southwood, Tyrell Ashcroft, Ethan Bristow, Tom Holmes, Michael Morrison ©, Josh Laurent, Danny Drinkwater, Andy Rinomhota, Tom Dele-Bashiru (Jahmari Clarke 69), John Swift, George Puscas (Lucas Joao 59).

Subs not used: James Holden, Kelvin Abrefa, Louie Holzman, Mamadi Camara.,

LuHatters: James Shea; Peter Kioso, Reece Burke, Sonny Bradley (C), Kal Naismith, Amari'i Bell; Allan Campbell (Gabe Osho 79), Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Jordan Clark (Henri Lansbury 70); Cameron Jerome (Fred Onyedinma 74), Elijah Adebayo.

Subs not used: Simon Sluga, Dan Potts, Luke Berry, Carlos Mendes Gomes.

Booked: Drinkwater 90, Joao 90.

Referee: Tim Robinson.