Luton Town promoted to Premier League after penalty shootout win over Coventry City in Wembley final

Luton Town lift the Championship play-off trophy at Wembley.
Luton Town lift the Championship play-off trophy at Wembley. Credit: PA
  • Luton Town 1-1 Coventry City (Luton win 6-5 on penalties)

Luton Town have been promoted to the Premier League for the very first time, after beating Coventry City on penalties in a nail-biting Championship play-off final to complete a fairytale rise.

The match at Wembley, which was dubbed as the richest game in football, went to extra-time after Coventry's Gustavo Hamer cancelled out Jordan Clark's first-half strike.

Hatters substitute Joe Taylor thought he had won it in extra-time, but Coventry were given a reprieve when his goal was ruled out for handball by VAR.

That meant the game went to the dreaded spot-kicks, and it was Luton who came out on top.

Jordan Clark celebrates his opening goal. Credit: PA

Both sides had scored five penalties each, but when Fankaty Dabo missed Coventry's sixth attempt, Luton's return to the top flight for the first time since 1992, the year the Premier League began, was secured.

It means Luton have become the first club in the modern era to go all the way from the National League to the Premier League.

The club will celebrate with an open top bus parade on Bank Holiday Monday.

Their remarkable surge through the divisions means they can now look forward to locking horns with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool next season - the completion of a truly incredible story.

As for Coventry, who were promoted alongside Luton from League Two in 2018, they must now regroup for another campaign in the second tier, but can still be immensely proud of their efforts having started the season playing most of their matches away from home due to the state of their pitch.

Gustavo Hamer had equalised for Coventry City. Credit: PA

There were wild celebrations in the stands at Wembley as departing Luton club captain Sonny Bradley, who will be heading for pastures new this summer, lifted the trophy.

Bradley also held up a shirt with skipper Tom Lockyer's name on the back, after the centre-back was taken to hospital after collapsing on the pitch in the early stages of the match.

Lockyer's dad Steve has since tweeted a picture of his son celebrating promotion from his hospital bed and added that he was "ok" but "so sad that he can't be there with his teammates."

The win also completed an amazing achievement for boss Rob Edwards, who started the season at bitter rivals Watford before being sacked after just 11 games in charge.

Luton's attention will now turn towards preparing for life in the big time, with the first priority being to completely rebuild one of their stands at their ageing Kenilworth Road home, a project that is likely to cost upwards of £10 million.

The match itself was a tight affair, with Luton having the better of the first-half, and Coventry the better of the second.

Luton boss Rob Edwards with the play-off trophy. Credit: PA

Extra-time passed without much incident before Taylor's disallowed goal, but when that effort was chalked off, it became obvious that penalties were looming.

Both sides showed fantastic composure under immense pressure, with Carlton Morris, Taylor, Marvelous Nakamba, Clark and Luke Berry all scoring for Luton, and Matt Godden, Viktor Gyokeres, Ben Sheaf, Josh Eccles and Liam Kelly all doing the same for Coventry.

However, when Luton defender Dan Potts tucked away his effort in sudden death, Dabo had to score to keep Coventry in it - something he couldn't manage as his spot-kick sailed over the crossbar.

A "paint the town orange" promotion party on Monday has now been announced to celebrate Luton's win, with thousands of fans set to descend on St George’s Square from 10.30am.

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