Luton Town will play in the top flight for the first time in 31 years next season after beating Coventry 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Wembley.
The Hatters, relegated in 1992 in the final season before the Premier League was formed, took the lead in the first half through Jordan Clark in the Championship play-off final, before Gustavo Hamer hit back for Coventry in the second, although the Hatters eventually prevailed in the shoot-out after Fankaty Dabo missed in sudden death.
This was a League Two game as recently as 2018, while Luton have also become the first side to drop from the top division in England down into non-League and back again. They were outside the EFL just nine years ago.
Coventry, meanwhile, will see their 22-year wait for Premier League football go on for at least another year. But that takes nothing away from an incredible season for Mark Robins and his side, who had also completed their own meteoric rise.
Even after losing captain Tom Lockyer – their hero from the semi-final – after he collapsed off the ball early on, it was still Luton who dominated the first half and took the lead on 23 minutes. Elijah Adebayo’s brilliant work and silky play saw him beat Kyle McFadzean all ends up before teeing up Clark to power a strike past Ben Wilson.
With Coventry completely outplayed in the first half, Robins introduced Matty Godden at the start of the second to try and switch things up. And the move had the desired impact as Coventry found themselves level on 66 minutes.
Just like Luton’s opener it came from a swift counter, as brilliant work from Viktor Gyokeres teed up Hamer, who finished smartly from the edge of the box. It was the first equaliser scored in a Championship play-off final in 11 years.
It was a goal that was enough to take the game to extra-time, and in the dying embers Luton thought they had won it as substitute Joe Taylor capitalised on a Jonathan Panzo error to race through and score, only for VAR to correctly rule that the ball had struck his hand on his way through to find the back of the net.
All 10 penalties were then converted to take it to sudden death. Luke Berry scored Luton’s sixth, before Dabo sent his penalty over to send the Hatters faithful wild and their side into the Premier League.
Source: Sky sports
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