Reading held on for a 1-1 draw against Luton Town, despite playing more than 30 minutes with 10-men after Andy Carroll’s red card for handball.

An uneventful first half, Carroll thought he had a brace shortly after the break, but his second was ruled out for handball and the former England man sent off. The Hatters equalised in the final 10 minutes through 19-goal Carlton Morris.

Reading could have gone in front within 120 seconds after Femi Azeez’s cross was somehow put over by Andy Carroll, the man you would want on the end of a ball like that. It was as good as it got for the hosts, who failed to test Ethan Horvath in the first half. Cauley Woodrow fancied his luck throughout, starting inside the first 10 minutes as he sent a rocket wide of the wide. Tyrese Fornah, who struggled out wide throughout, met another Azeez cross on the volley- this time almost heading out for a throw-in on the opposite side of the pitch.

The Hatters, on an 11-game unbeaten run, almost went ahead shortly after as Woodrow struck the post from a free-kick. Nesta Guinness-Walker’s long throw, which lead to Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s goal at Preston North End, caused Luton problems but nobody could connect as it spun out the other side of the penalty area. Naby Sarr prevented an goal with a heroic goalline block at the feet of keeper Joe Lumley shortly before the break as the Bedfordshire outfit pushed hard to keep their strong run going.

If the first half was uneventful, the second half more than covered it. Despite starting on the back foot, Azeez’s corner was met powerfully by Carroll and smashed into the back of the net to send supporters into delirium. It went one better moments later as Carroll converted an almost identical set-piece, or so we all thought. The referee blew and sent the former England man off, with a second viewing clearly showing the veteran punch the ball past Horvath. Cue the longest game of attack versus defence as the Hatters lay siege in the Royal half.

Campbell should have converted Woodrow’s cross, and the former Barnsley striker had two or three clear opportunities to level the score himself. Substitute Mamadi Camara, still only a teenager, bravely blocked the forward’s goal-bound effort from inside the box as it felt like only a matter of time before the visitors equalised. Jordan Clark somehow spooned an effort over the bar from close range, but Reading’s luck only lasted minutes longer as Elijah Adebayo made a nuisance of himself and Lumley lost sight of the ball as his punch landed on the head of Morris to equalise on the goal line.

Looking likely to find a second, especially with dangerous crosses from wide, substitute Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan had a sight of goal when sent through by Camara. Scoring his first league goal in Paul Ince’s final game, there was no repeat this week as he sent his effort well wide from distance. Plenty of huffing and puffing, with hearts firmly in mouths, the side held on for a point against the in-form team in the division.

Just three matches remaining, starting with Coventry City on Saturday