Rampant Royals rout Luton
Rampant Reading celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Madejski Stadium with a 5-1 drubbing of Luton.
Last Updated: 26/08/08 10:15pm
Rampant Reading celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Madejski Stadium with a 5-1 drubbing of League Two strugglers Luton.
The Hatters were also the visitors for the first game at the Royals' new ground on 22nd August 1998, going down 3-0 in a Division Two match.
Stephen Hunt and and brother Noel combined twice inside the opening 15 minutes before two goals in as many minutes from Alex Pearce and Jem Karacan made the game safe and James Henry added a fifth.
Some scrappy Reading defending enabled substitute Ryan Charles to stab a 10-yard shot past Adam Federici in the 80th minute but it was mere consolation for Luton.
Reading went close to opening the scoring in the fifth minute following a surging midfield run from Henry.
He slid the ball down the left-hand side of the box for Shane Long, who cut inside a sliding challenge from Keith Keane but sent his shot over the crossbar.
It was not long before the deadlock was broken. Stephen Hunt's inswinging corner was glanced home at the near post by the head of his younger sibling after 11 minutes, and four minutes later the favour was returned.
Noel Hunt held his run to beat the offside trap and latch on to Henry's throughball. He whipped in a low cross from the right-hand side which was met by Stephen Hunt sliding in at the far post.
Luton almost immediately halved their deficit. Sam Parkin's deflected shot from the edge of the area had Federici scrambling across his goal but the ball spun wide.
Reading were always dominant and only a fine save with his legs from Conrad Logan prevented Long from putting the tie beyond Luton two minutes before the break.
The game might have had a different complexion had Chris Martin's fierce shot on the stroke of half-time not been parried and then scrambled to safety by Federici.
It was a case of what might have been for Luton and Pearce timed his run perfectly to head Henry's corner into the roof of the net for Reading's third goal in the 53rd minute.
A minute later Karacan slid in at the far post to convert Noel Hunt's right-wing cross.
Hunt's corner was swept past Logan from close-range by Henry in the 75th minute before Charles pulled a goal back for the visitors.