Norwich lose to Luton as Watford and Reading gain ground at the top

Norwich slipped to their first defeat in almost two months as they were beaten 3-1 at Luton in the Championship on Wednesday night.

A goal from Matty Pearson and a penalty from James Collins secured victory for the Hatters at Kenilworth Road after Emi Buendía had cancelled out George Moncur’s opener. The game was one of six in the EFL on Wednesday to welcome back supporters, and those inside seemed to inspire the home side as they denied Norwich a way back into the contest.

“I was very emotional in terms of before kick-off, the ovation I got, I was very humbled and I thank the fans for that,” the Luton manager Nathan Jones said afterwards. “I’m really proud of the team, really proud of the fans, really proud of the club tonight … it definitely made a difference with having fans back.”

Watford and Reading failed to take full advantage of the Canaries’ slip-up – although they both moved within a point of the top – as they were held to draws by lowly Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Watford had to settle for a goalless draw at the City Ground while the Royals’ clash with the 10-man Owls at Hillsborough ended 1-1. Callum Paterson put Wednesday ahead after 13 minutes but the dismissal of Liam Shaw on the half-hour hampered their chances. Lucas João levelled before the interval but the visitors were unable to force a winner.

Duncan Watmore struck twice as Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough claimed a 2-1 victory over Swansea at the Riverside Stadium. Watmore, who joined the club on a short-term deal last month, scored a deflected opener after 26 minutes and added a second midway through the second half. Swans substitute Yan Dhanda pulled one back 12 minutes from time but Boro held on.

Adam Armstrong hit a 90th-minute winner as Blackburn snatched a 2-1 victory over Millwall at Ewood Park. Harvey Elliott and Scott Malone had earlier traded goals in the first half. Blackburn and Boro now sit in ninth and 10th place, but both are just four points behind Norwich as the promotion race continues to tighten up.

Nick Powell made it an unhappy night for the fans admitted at Adams Park as he scored the only goal in Stoke’s 1-0 away win over Wycombe. Powell scored in the 72nd minute to leave Wycombe, with just two wins since earning promotion, in the bottom three.