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Luton 2-0 Sunderland (3-2): Hatters come from behind to book place in Championship play-off final<!-- wp:html --><div> <h2>Luton 2-0 Sunderland (agg 3-2): The Hatters come from behind to book the final date of the Championship play-offs at Wembley thanks to first-half strikes from Gabriel Osho and Tom Lockyer</h2> <p><strong>Gabriel Osho stabbed at close range to give his side the perfect start</strong><br /> <strong>Tom Lockyer then doubled the lead with a header shortly before halftime </strong><br /> <span class="mol-style-bold">Sunderland rarely threatened and Luton saw the game comfortably </span></p> <p class="author-section byline-plain">By Lewis Steele for the Daily Mail </p> <p class="byline-section"><span class="article-timestamp article-timestamp-published"> <span class="article-timestamp-label">Published:</span> 5:02 p.m. EDT, May 16, 2023 </span> | <span class="article-timestamp article-timestamp-updated"> <span class="article-timestamp-label">Update:</span> 6:06 p.m. EDT, May 16, 2023 </span> </p> <p> <!-- ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/sport/football/article/other/para_top.html --> <!-- CWV --><!--[if !IE]>>--> <!-- <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]>>--> <!--<!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]>>--> <!-- <!--[if IE 8]>--></p> <p> <!--[if IE 9]>--></p> <p> <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!--</p> <p> <!-- SiteCatalyst code version: H.20.3. Copyright 1997-2009 Omniture, Inc. More info available at http://www.omniture.com --> </p> <p> <!-- End SiteCatalyst code version: H.20.3. --> <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!--<!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!-- <!-- CWV --></p> <div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">When Luton Town lost the Conference play-off final to York City in 2012, imagine telling a Hatters fan that the next time they played at Wembley they would see a Premier League place on the line.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Imagine telling Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, who joined the club in the fifth tier a decade ago, that he would go on to play in the best league in the world with this club.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Imagine telling manager Rob Edwards that after being sacked by Watford just 11 games into his tenure, he would lead their arch-rivals to the Wembley Arch eight months later.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Edwards’ side performed as close to perfect as football could get to overturn a first-leg deficit and end Sunderland’s hopes.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The young manager, who led Forest Green to promotion from League Two last year, made his first visit of the season to this magical stadium in August during a reconnaissance mission for Watford. On arrival he got lost in the winding lanes of Kenilworth Road and couldn’t find the right entrance.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Tom Lockyer celebrates his side’s second goal against Sunderland</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Luton Town manager Rob Edwards is mobbed by fans after reaching the play-off final</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Supporters rushed onto the pitch after picking up a win after reaching the top flight</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp may soon lose their bearings around this old stadium. Sunderland certainly did that last night. It wasn’t just a win for Luton, it was a demolition. Tony Mowbray’s exhausted side didn’t have the answers to a Hatters bombardment.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“I don’t want to sing from the rooftops because nothing’s done yet,” Edwards said. “We try to play to the strengths of the players – we are brave, we completely believe in ourselves, we want them to play an aggressive, forward and attacking style.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Maybe it’s a bit of redemption (after being sacked at Watford). I went in with my eyes wide open and I knew it could happen at this club. Now I feel at home here. Nathan Jones left this club in a brilliant place, we tried to take that lightly.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Our fans have been through a lot of dark times, so that’s great. Our game plan was delivered perfectly. But now we want to achieve something.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Luton left the Stadium of Light on Saturday with a deficit although it was felt they went into the second leg as favourites. ‘The Kenny’, as this archaic old pitch is affectionately known, was rocking and the Hatters feeding on the raucous atmosphere.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Only four members of Sunderland’s squad were over 23 and three of Mowbray’s four backs are professional midfielders. Whether deliberately or not, Edwards’ side targeted that inexperience and scored twice from corners.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“We knew their strengths and weaknesses and they came to fruition,” Mowbray said. “I’m so proud of the guys, I’m proud of the city and the fans. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Unfortunately we ran out of ammunition you need in a football team – we were missing some ingredients.”</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Osho stabbed from close range early on to give his side the perfect start</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Osho celebrates after leveling after just 10 minutes at Kenilworth Road </p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Lockyer (left) doubled the lead with a header shortly before half-time to put his side in control</p> </div> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Luton fans looked set to party the night away after one of their best days ever </p> </div> <div class="art-ins mol-factbox sport"> <h3 class="mol-factbox-title">MATCH FACTS </h3> <div class="ins cleared mol-factbox-body"> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold">LUTON (3-5-2):</span> Horvat 7; Osho 8, Lockyer 9, Bell 7.5; Drameh 7.5, Ruddock Mpanzu 9, Nakamba 8.5, Clark 8 (Campbell 83), Doughty 8; Adebayo 7, Morris 7.5.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Unused Subs: Shea, Potts, Berry, Burke, Onyedinma, Taylor.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Reserved: Clark, Ruddock Mpanzu.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Coach: Rob Edwards 9.5.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold">SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1):</span> Patterson 7; Roberts 5, Hume 5, O’Nien 4, Gooch 5 (Huggins 77); Neil 5 (Ba 77), Ekwah 5; Diallo 7, Pritchard 5 (Alese 57, 6), Clarke 6; Gelhardt 4 (Michut 64, 6).</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Unused subs: Bass, Lihadji, Anderson.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Reserved: O’Nien, Alese.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Coach: Tony Mowbray 5.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Referee: Simon Hooper 6.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Turnout: 10,013.</p> </div> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">First Lockyer won a knockdown and Osho returned the loose ball after 10 minutes, then the captain scored his own goal just before half-time to put Luton ahead in the draw.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In truth, the two-goal defeat flatters Sunderland. Apart from a few slalom runs by Amad Diallo – who caught the ears of local supporters for alleged staging – the Black Cats have created nothing.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">They needed luck, several goal-line clearances and a bit of poor finishing to keep the score low. But a win at Luton never looked in doubt, with captain Lockyer mustering a defense that had conceded just 17 times in Edwards’ 25 regular season appearances.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Despite not being in the league just nine years ago, Luton are now one game away from the Premier League. It is one of the best stories in English football history.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Sunderland players looked devastated as they walked off the pitch </p> </div> </div> <p> <!-- ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/sport/football/article/other/inread_player.html --></p> <div class="column-content cleared"> <div class="shareArticles"> <h3 class="social-links-title">Share or comment on this article: </h3> </div> </div> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

Luton 2-0 Sunderland (agg 3-2): The Hatters come from behind to book the final date of the Championship play-offs at Wembley thanks to first-half strikes from Gabriel Osho and Tom Lockyer

Gabriel Osho stabbed at close range to give his side the perfect start
Tom Lockyer then doubled the lead with a header shortly before halftime
Sunderland rarely threatened and Luton saw the game comfortably

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When Luton Town lost the Conference play-off final to York City in 2012, imagine telling a Hatters fan that the next time they played at Wembley they would see a Premier League place on the line.

Imagine telling Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, who joined the club in the fifth tier a decade ago, that he would go on to play in the best league in the world with this club.

Imagine telling manager Rob Edwards that after being sacked by Watford just 11 games into his tenure, he would lead their arch-rivals to the Wembley Arch eight months later.

Edwards’ side performed as close to perfect as football could get to overturn a first-leg deficit and end Sunderland’s hopes.

The young manager, who led Forest Green to promotion from League Two last year, made his first visit of the season to this magical stadium in August during a reconnaissance mission for Watford. On arrival he got lost in the winding lanes of Kenilworth Road and couldn’t find the right entrance.

Tom Lockyer celebrates his side’s second goal against Sunderland

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards is mobbed by fans after reaching the play-off final

Supporters rushed onto the pitch after picking up a win after reaching the top flight

The likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp may soon lose their bearings around this old stadium. Sunderland certainly did that last night. It wasn’t just a win for Luton, it was a demolition. Tony Mowbray’s exhausted side didn’t have the answers to a Hatters bombardment.

“I don’t want to sing from the rooftops because nothing’s done yet,” Edwards said. “We try to play to the strengths of the players – we are brave, we completely believe in ourselves, we want them to play an aggressive, forward and attacking style.”

“Maybe it’s a bit of redemption (after being sacked at Watford). I went in with my eyes wide open and I knew it could happen at this club. Now I feel at home here. Nathan Jones left this club in a brilliant place, we tried to take that lightly.

“Our fans have been through a lot of dark times, so that’s great. Our game plan was delivered perfectly. But now we want to achieve something.

Luton left the Stadium of Light on Saturday with a deficit although it was felt they went into the second leg as favourites. ‘The Kenny’, as this archaic old pitch is affectionately known, was rocking and the Hatters feeding on the raucous atmosphere.

Only four members of Sunderland’s squad were over 23 and three of Mowbray’s four backs are professional midfielders. Whether deliberately or not, Edwards’ side targeted that inexperience and scored twice from corners.

“We knew their strengths and weaknesses and they came to fruition,” Mowbray said. “I’m so proud of the guys, I’m proud of the city and the fans.

“Unfortunately we ran out of ammunition you need in a football team – we were missing some ingredients.”

Osho stabbed from close range early on to give his side the perfect start

Osho celebrates after leveling after just 10 minutes at Kenilworth Road

Lockyer (left) doubled the lead with a header shortly before half-time to put his side in control

Luton fans looked set to party the night away after one of their best days ever

MATCH FACTS

LUTON (3-5-2): Horvat 7; Osho 8, Lockyer 9, Bell 7.5; Drameh 7.5, Ruddock Mpanzu 9, Nakamba 8.5, Clark 8 (Campbell 83), Doughty 8; Adebayo 7, Morris 7.5.

Unused Subs: Shea, Potts, Berry, Burke, Onyedinma, Taylor.

Reserved: Clark, Ruddock Mpanzu.

Coach: Rob Edwards 9.5.

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Patterson 7; Roberts 5, Hume 5, O’Nien 4, Gooch 5 (Huggins 77); Neil 5 (Ba 77), Ekwah 5; Diallo 7, Pritchard 5 (Alese 57, 6), Clarke 6; Gelhardt 4 (Michut 64, 6).

Unused subs: Bass, Lihadji, Anderson.

Reserved: O’Nien, Alese.

Coach: Tony Mowbray 5.

Referee: Simon Hooper 6.

Turnout: 10,013.

First Lockyer won a knockdown and Osho returned the loose ball after 10 minutes, then the captain scored his own goal just before half-time to put Luton ahead in the draw.

In truth, the two-goal defeat flatters Sunderland. Apart from a few slalom runs by Amad Diallo – who caught the ears of local supporters for alleged staging – the Black Cats have created nothing.

They needed luck, several goal-line clearances and a bit of poor finishing to keep the score low. But a win at Luton never looked in doubt, with captain Lockyer mustering a defense that had conceded just 17 times in Edwards’ 25 regular season appearances.

Despite not being in the league just nine years ago, Luton are now one game away from the Premier League. It is one of the best stories in English football history.

Sunderland players looked devastated as they walked off the pitch

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