Reading ended their 2021/22 Championship campaign with a third straight defeat without scoring as Luton Town confirmed their position in the play-offs.

Orjan Nyland gifted the Hatters the goal in first half stoppage time after dropping the ball and allowing Harry Cornick to tap into the empty net.

Paul Ince made two changes from the side that lost to West Brom last week, with Tom Holmes returning from illness and Yakou Meite made his first start under the former England midfielder as Tom Dele-Bashiru dropped to the bench and Danny Drinkwater missed out through injury.

It took just two minutes for the hosts to have the first menacing attack of the game as former Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome was slid the ball into the box. With it looking harder to miss, Nyland comes out of his goal to somehow prevent Jerome from bending it into the bottom corner and smother the ball as it bounces back into play. Moments later Jerome is busy again as the Hatters’ Player of the Season, Allan Campbell smashes an effort over the bar after a nod down from the popular striker. Campbell came close again as Luton pushed for an early goal, heading a soft effort into the hands of Nyland.


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The Royals had their first effort on goal just shy of the half hour mark, releasing Ovie Ejaria and the midfielder saw his shot hit Matt Ingram in goal before the ball was smothered clear. That was to be the only effort in a half dominated by hosts as full-back James Bree clipped a free-kick agonisingly wide of the post.

With the game ticking into stoppage time, it looked as though Ince’s men had made it to half time on level terms but then struck a moment of madness. Nyland had the ball in his hands and dropped it, with the intention to clear it, but wide-man Cornick had quick thinking to nick the ball of off the keepers toes and smash the ball into the back of the net to take a slender lead into the second half.

The hosts started the second period how they ended the first, on top. They had their first effort within 15 seconds and within 10 had almost made it two when Jordan Clark fired narrowly over the bar. Just seconds later Jerome smashed a shot across the bar after cutting in from the right as it looked like the Royals would concede more. However, they did regain some composure and even created chances of their own.

Michael Morrison went the closest when a Josh Laurent cross found the captain at the back post, who’s headed effort was smartly saved at low to the ground. The centre-back went close in the final 15 minutes too after fellow defender Terell Thomas controlled a cross into the box and laid it on for former Birmingham City captain to fire a deflected effort over the bar.

Ejaria grew into the game as the minutes ticked by and threatened to make something happen, but his final ball often evaded a teammate.

Laurent made things happen, firing multiple crosses into the box, but the ball was not sticking to the feet of the Royals.

The defeat means that the side have failed to win since Good Friday, but can go into the summer break knowing they are in the Championship next season.