The Goalkeeper's Chronicle #25: Horvath At The Double!

By Pat Lee Nichols, Alfie Sayers

News • Jun 1, 2023

The Goalkeeper's Chronicle #25: Horvath At The Double!

Pat Lee Nichols and Alfie Sayers team up once more to bring the 25th instalment of The Goalkeeper's Chronicle…Horvath at the double!

This Saturday just gone, the most expensive game in football played out in the capital. On top of the £100 million-plus at stake, a chance loomed to end the long hiatus from the top flight for two historical clubs. 

It is rare to say you have played in two Championship play-off finals, never mind in back-to-back years. Ethan Horvath can now say he has. It is true that in the 2022 final for Forest he played a much smaller role, coming on for the final six minutes after Brice Samba suffered an injury. But this time round, he was to play a central role in proceedings. 


That day, Forest overcame Huddersfield Town who were condemned to another year in the Championship through a Levi Colwill own goal in the 43rd minute. 

Upon winning promotion to the Premier League last year, it was clear that Ethan would need to hit the loan market to get first team football. Dean Henderson and Wayne Hennessey arrived at the City Ground to bolster the goalkeeping ranks as Brice Samba left for France. With the hotly contested USMNT squad selection for the World Cup in Qatar on the periphery, it was vital that Horvath kept getting minutes. 

Luton Town of the Championship would be the suitors.

HORVATH DOUBLE Panel 2 (1).png

After impressing early on, Horvath would get the call up to the World Cup squad. 

He would play back-up to Matt Turner at the tournament, but had done enough to throw his name into the proverbial hat, beating fellow Championship loanee Zack Steffen of Middlesbrough to a place in the squad. Upon returning from the World Cup, Luton Town and Horvath found themselves in 15th place in the table. It was a position from which they knew they could improve, especially with a new man at the helm, the popular Rob Edwards. 

A significant turnaround followed, including 13 clean sheets in just 21 games since the turn of the year for Ethan and co. This left Luton Town in 3rd in the Championship and a Play-Off Semi-Final tie up next vs Sunderland, extending their season a further two games at least. 

A tense 3-2 victory over two legs, (including a typical home clean sheet) saw the Hatters and Horvath book their place at Wembley. 

It was a feat that looked unlikely just five months before, never mind in 2014 as the club languished in the non-league. A cagey affair played out under the arch on Saturday afternoon, featuring two sides who played physical football on the front foot, whilst also relying on a impenetrable defensive unit. 

The opponents, Coventry City, had the Championship Golden Glove winner Ben Wilson protecting their net. He had just kept the play-off favourites Middlesbrough at bay over 180 minutes in Coventry's Semi-Final. Wilson had been wrong footed for Luton's opener, before Ethan Horvath was left hapless by a slight deflection on an already well hit strike from Gustavo Hamer. 

The match ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of regular and extra time. 

Funnily enough, the goalkeepers played little part in the ensuing shoot-out with the first 11 finding the mark in clinical fashion. The unfortunate man to miss was Fankaty Dabo of Coventry. After watching the ball sail over his bar, it was that man again celebrating promotion, Ethan Horvath.


He turned towards the hatters faithful behind the goal before being swarmed in a sea of elation. Speaking after the game he had this to say: “It was a bit different compared to last year as this year was my 52nd game (for Luton), so feelings, emotions, through the roof”. 

Congratulations  to the Luton Town players, staff and the goalkeeping group of Ethan Horvath, James Shea and Jack Walton on their promotion to the Premier League. 

Shop featured products
Related Editorials
Read All Posts

Copyright 2022 Goalkeeper. All Rights Reserved.