Coventry City lose out on Premier League promotion after match goes to penalties

It was heartbreak for Coventry City after losing on penalties. Credit: PA

Coventry City's season ended in heartbreak at Wembley as they lost the Championship play-off final against Luton Town.Before kick-off, in the streets and bars around the stadium there was a celebratory atmosphere. Ahead of the actual match, you enjoy these days more when you've been through so much hurt.I joined fans in Boxpark on Wembley Way as they belted out anthems such as The Enemy song We Live and Die in These Towns and the more upbeat tweaked Pump It Up, City are Going Up.Then on Wembley Way itself, I saw a steady stream of sky blue shirts and slightly sunburnt skin.

Coventry City fans celebrate after an equaliser. Credit: PA

Inside the stadium, the Coventry fans were busy out-singing Luton as the Hatters created the first chance.Gabriel Osho bundled the ball over the line from a corner. A flag for offside quickly calmed the nerves though and the singing started again.The most worrying moment of the first half was far more concerning that any of the football. Luton captain Tom Lockyer appeared to collapse off the ball and after several minutes on the floor was taken off on a stretcher. The club later updated that he was awake at hospital and speaking to family.Even without their leader, the powerful and direct Luton were the better side and kept coming. In the 23rd minute, Elijah Adebayo was too strong even for Kyle McFadzean and set up Jordan Clarke to thrash in the opener.

Elijah Adebayo scored early on for Luton Town. Credit: PA

The sky blue end of Wembley was now properly stunned.In the 41st minute Luton had the ball in the net yet again but it was ruled out for hitting Adebayo's arm.Up the other end, Coventry then had their best chance of the half as semi-final hero Gustavo Hamer met a cross but couldn't keep his shot down.Mark Robins brought on an extra striker in Matty Godden for the second half and it seemed to unsettle Luton.The Sky Blues were playing much closer to the Luton goal but still unable to create clear-cut chances.

Coventry's Hamer scored the equaliser for the Sky Blues. Credit: PA

That was until their two superstars combined. Viktor Gyokeres raced away down the left wing and pulled the ball back for Hamer who calmly slotted in the equaliser.Blue smoke from flares and an almighty noise now filled Wembley from the Coventry section.

Coventry City fans packed out Wembley. Credit: PA

Luton now looked vulnerable and City could sense it. Godden had a chance but fired over and vigorously rubbed his face in frustration.With victory in their sights, a blow, Coventry's creative force Hamer forced off with an ankle injury. In tears, he's comforted by the manager.Coventry's dominance subsided and instead the match looked equal as it went into extra-time. 

Goalkeeper Ben Wilson came out to meet Clark and there was a sharp intake of breath as the Luton striker went down. No penalty and a yellow card for diving. Phew.In the second half of extra-time, Luton were celebrating. Joe Taylor found the net after pinching the ball from Jonathan Panzo. But yet again, Luton had a goal ruled out for offside. Coventry were running out of lives but penalties would decide this game worth £170m.

Coventry players were holding their breath during the penalty shoot-out. Credit: PA

11 perfect penalties were scored until Fankaty Dabo curled his high and wide of the goal. So much was riding on his kick and it went wrong. He was in tears.

Some say City will never get a better chance than this. I disagree, this team gets better every season and the club is only heading in one direction.