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Reading vs Luton Town. Sky Bet Championship.

Select Car Leasing StadiumAttendance9,611.

Reading 0

    Luton Town 2

    • T Holmes (33rd minute own goal)
    • A Campbell (58th minute)

    Reading 0-2 Luton Town: Struggling hosts in relegation trouble after defeat

    Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Reading and Luton Town at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as the Hatters claimed a comfortable win thanks to a Tom Holmes own goal and another from Allan Campbell.

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    Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading and Luton Town

    Relegation-threatened Reading suffered a further setback when they were beaten 2-0 by Luton at the SCL Stadium.

    In a poor first half, the visitors snatched a fortunate lead in the 33rd minute when central defender Tom Holmes sent a diving header into his own net.

    Reading offered little after the break and were breached again in the 58th minute, when Allan Campbell slotted in his second goal in as many games.

    The defeat - their eighth home game without a win - left Reading three points above the Championship relegation zone.

    The hosts had previously experienced one of the worst eight-day spells in their history.

    It comprised a 2-1 defeat to non-League Kidderminster in the FA Cup third round, a 7-0 home Championship loss to Fulham last week and a late 2-1 reverse - after leading - at Middlesbrough last Saturday.

    Off the pitch, skipper Liam Moore was stripped of the captaincy last weekend after, the club claimed, he had expressed a desire to move elsewhere.

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    The short-term deal of Andy Carroll - the former England international and Reading's scorer at the Riverside Stadium - had expired after the Boro game.

    Luton, who were unbeaten in four league and cup matches, had defeated Bournemouth 3-2 at Kenilworth Road on Saturday.

    Reading were without Moore, who was reported to have a knee injury, and Carroll in their line-up.

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    Reading defender Tom Holmes deflected Amari'i Bell's cross into his own net in the 2-0 defeat to Luton

    They started sluggishly, with Luton making most of the early running and threatening mostly through the thrusts of Elijah Adebayo going forward.

    Adebayo did well to wriggle free in the left-hand corner but his subsequent low cross was comfortably gathered by home goalkeeper Luke Southwood.

    Reading responded positively but Holmes volleyed weakly at visiting 'keeper James Shea from a John Swift corner.

    Luton were soon back on the offensive, with Adebayo blazing wildly over when well positioned, and they went ahead just after the half-hour mark.

    Amari'i Bell crossed from the left and Holmes - attempting a headed clearance - succeeded only in nodding past Southwood.

    Reading opened with renewed vigour at the start of the second half.

    But from a decent Swift cross, Danny Drinkwater headed tamely at Shea.

    Luton were quick to reassert control, with Kal Naismith forcing a save from Southwood with a well-struck snapshot.

    Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu should have done better when firing over after a goalmouth scramble, but Luton soon doubled their advantage.

    Mpanzu released Adebayo and, after dashing to the byline, the striker crossed perfectly for Campbell to guide home from close range.

    Luton went in search of a third goal, with Reading indebted to Southwood for keeping the scoreline down.

    Peter Kioso and Campbell had clear chances only for Southwood to deny them both with sprawling saves.

    What the managers said...

    Reading's Veljko Paunovic: "We have to look for an immediate reaction to this. We have to play our games with more urgency, more anger and more courage. In the past, we have often done this.

    "I was very disappointed with the mentality and character that we showed. We have lost games in the past but we have never been so flat. It's always a time for self-criticism and I put myself first.

    "We have to improve and I also have to find ways that I can improve. There weren't many exceptions tonight but I would like to highlight [central defender and captain] Michael Morrison.

    "He was coming back from a long injury but he is going to be a big help for us going forward. At the end of the day, both of the Luton goals were mistakes by us.

    "It certainly is a time for self-criticism but, at the same time, I don't think that people should go too deep and spread negativity. That's not what we need now."

    Luton boss Nathan Jones celebrates his side's victory
    Image: Luton boss Nathan Jones celebrates his side's victory

    Luton's Nathan Jones: "I thought that we were excellent in possession and out of possession.

    "Structurally, we were really good, too. We worked incredibly hard and also defended our box when we needed to. We also had a threat going forward. We didn't really play with the same quality that we normally do in the first half. But I thought that we were better in the second half.

    "It was a tricky little game, we knew it was going to be like that with the predicament that Reading are in. But I thought that we deserved the win and we had an element control for most of the game. It was never straightforward or routine. Coming away from home never is."

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