Meite strikes four as Roy­als hit five past Lu­ton

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT - By ANDY PRE­STON apre­ston@wok­ing­ham­pa­

YAKOU Meite struck four times in­clud­ing a re­mark­able first half hat-trick to take Read­ing close to safety with a com­fort­able win over rel­e­ga­tion threat­ened Lu­ton Town.

Meite opened the scoring in the

17th minute and added a sec­ond just a minute later. He then wrapped up his tre­ble 10 min­utes be­fore half-time to put the Roy­als into a three-goal lead.

In the sec­ond half, Pus­cas added to the score­line with his head be­fore Meite added his fourth to his tally to wrap up a su­perb Roy­als vic­tory.

Mark Bowen switched up his side after Read­ing’s 3-0 de­feat to Brent­ford, with Tom McIn­tyre, Gabe Osho and Tyler Black­ett com­ing into the side, mean­ing there was no place in the start­ing line-up for cap­tain Liam Moore.

Black­ett burst down the left and played a low cross into the box which fell invit­ingly for Yakou Meite just six yards out, but Lu­ton keeper Sluga bril­liantly across his goal to make the save to pre­vent Read­ing from tak­ing an early lead.

The hosts then came inches away from tak­ing the ini­tia­tive in the 13th minute. Harry Cor­nick tricked his way past Black­ett on the right wing and swung a ball in which was met by the head of James Collins who crashed a header against the cross­bar from a few yards out.

Swift and Ge­orge Pus­cas linked up be­fore he found Meite who seized his op­por­tu­nity this time and slot­ted the ball into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

Just a minute after opening the scoring, Meite had an­other to dou­ble the vis­i­tors lead in the 18th minute.

Lu­ton failed to clear from Osho's cross and cleared the ball straight to Meite who cap­i­talised and slammed the ball past Sluga.

With 10 min­utes to go un­til the break, Meite com­pleted his hat-trick. Ejaria slipped the ball through the

Lu­ton back line to find Meite wide on the right in the box and the Ivo­rian opened up his body and curled his fin­ish be­yond Sluga into the cor­ner on his left foot to com­plete a re­mark­able first-half.

Pus­cas ap­pealed for a penalty early in the first half when he was tripped off the ball by Pear­son as he tried to charge down the goal­keeper, but the ref­eree waved his ap­peals away.

But Pus­cas even­tu­ally found his re­ward in the 57th minute when he added a fourth for Bowen’s side. Mor­ri­son headed the ball across the box from Black­ett’s deep cross and was met at the back post by the Ro­ma­nian who nod­ded the ball in from a cou­ple of yards out.

Bowen’s first change of the af­ter­noon sawAyub Masika re­place Pele on the hour­mark.

Meite added a fourth just after the hour­mark to con­tinue his spec­tac­u­lar af­ter­noon as he broke through the mid­dle and cooly finished past Sluga to make it five.

Dan Potts had a late chance to get a con­so­la­tion goal for Lu­ton but was de­nied by the feet of Rafael.

Pic­ture: Steve Smyth

Meite has scored 16 goals for the Roy­als this sea­son. He’s pic­tured in ac­tion dur­ing their game against Lu­ton in Novem­ber.

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