Luton Town are one game away from Premier League football after prevailing in their Championship play-off semi-final against Sunderland.
The club have attained something of a "cult hero" status in recent weeks, with their home stadium of Kenilworth Road receiving plenty of loving tongue-in-cheek affection from football fans on social media.
The dream of Premier League superstars visiting the stadium is now one step closer to reality, with Luton set to face the winners of Middlesbrough v Coventry in the play-off final at Wembley on Saturday 27th May.
Sunderland will feel hard done by, however, by an incident early in the game which was not spotted by the referee, in which they could have had a penalty for a handball.
Luton: Kenilworth Road rocking as Hatters reach play-off final
Luton entered Tuesday's second leg with a mountain to climb, after a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light in the first leg against Sunderland.
The early stages of the return game at Kenilworth Road saw end-to-end action, and it would be Luton who would score the first goal.
Inside the opening ten minutes, Luton levelled the tie on aggregate through Gabriel Osho's finish through a melée of bodies in the Sunderland area.
OSHO! What a start for Luton! 💥 pic.twitter.com/T47cKAGVnb
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 16, 2023
Just five minutes later, however, there was controversy at the other end. After Pierre Ekwah's header was brilliantly kept out by the Luton keeper, his ball back across the Luton six-yard box hit defender Amari Bell's hand and richocheted back towards Ethan Horvath between the posts.
Sunderland protested with referee Simon Hooper, but
Sunderland have been absolutely robbed of a penalty against Luton. pic.twitter.com/9bzfBkI9Dn
— MC (@UtdMicah) May 16, 2023
Just before half-time, Luton were in dreamland.
Tom Lockyer's fantastic header had Kenilworth Road rocking, with Luton now ahead of Sunderland on aggregate.
Tom Lockyer puts Luton in front on aggregate against Sunderland! 🤯
The Hatters are just 45 minutes from the Championship Play-Off Final! 😳#EFLPlayOffs pic.twitter.com/YmS8wKp83t
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 16, 2023
They would ultimately hold on to claim a memorable victory and take a massive step towards promotion.
Sunderland may feel hard done by but, on the balance of the entire Championship season, Luton are full value for their place in the richest game in world football, and will be relishing their big day at Wembley at the end of the month.