Luton 2-0 Sunderland (3-2 agg): Gabe Osho and Tom Lockyer send Hatters through to Championship play-off final
The Hatters wowed a raucous crowd at Kenilworth Road as first-half goals from defenders Gabe Osho and Tom Lockyer gave them a win over the Wearsiders.
Overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the first leg and winning 3-2 on aggregate was enough for Rob Edwards’ team.
A Wembley final against Coventry or Middlesbrough awaits on May 27, with Luton seeking a return to top-flight English football after a 31-year absence.
The Hatters got the breakthrough they needed in the 10th minute when Osho fired home from close range after the visitors failed to clear a Jordan Clark corner.
Sunderland almost equalized three minutes later when Pierre Ekwah saw a shot from a Patrick Roberts corner which Ethan Horvath saved. The midfielder was the sharpest on the rebound, but his shot hit the woodwork and the visitors’ penalties were thwarted.
Luton almost got the second when Luke O’Nien cleared a Carlton Morris attempt down the line after Anthony Patterson failed to save Alfie Doughty’s cross. The home side threatened again when Morris Patterson saved with a full-length save, who was relieved to see Lockyer’s header just wide of the post seconds later.
Morris fired just wide after good work from Elijah Adebayo as the hosts tried to put the game ahead and they did just that five minutes later when Lockyer used the space to head Doughty’s cross past Patterson.
Morris had a great chance to make it 3-0 within 30 seconds of the second half when Patterson misplayed the ball to him, but the striker went over the goal.
For the Sunderland side, who were plagued by injuries, particularly in defence, in the closing stages of the season, that proved to be going too far, although Aji Alese made the comeback from injury in the 58th minute as the game’s first substitute.
The fight grew in suspense and Alese managed a timely challenge shortly after to parry Adebayo as the latter set up a shot before Roberts capped off a promising run with a weak shot at goal.
The same player shot over the goal with 14 minutes left as the Black Cats, who were 11 points behind their opponents, tried to put the game into overtime.
But they seldom looked like it, as Luton’s Cody Drameh came closest to scoring in the closing stages when he shot wide of an empty goal following a Patterson corner in injury time.
The final whistle elicited cheers from the majority of the 10,013 crowd, which included a full-scale invasion of the pitch.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/luton-vs-sunderland-championship-play-off-2023-osho-lockyer-b1081596.html Luton 2-0 Sunderland (3-2 agg): Gabe Osho and Tom Lockyer send Hatters through to Championship play-off final