Luton Town are out of the play-offs after a late own goal by goalkeeper Stuart Moore sent Blackpool to Wembley at their expense.
The game had looked set to go into extra time after an enthralling contest at a damp Kenilworth Road that saw both sides hold the advantage at various points. Blackpool took the lead through Nathan Delfouneso, but quickfire goals before half-time put Luton ahead on the night, with David Mellor scoring an own goal before Scott Cuthbert put Luton ahead.
The Hatters then went ahead on aggregate when Danny Hylton converted a controversial penalty that was finished in the panenka style. But Blackpool then equalised through substitute Armand Gnanduillet, which meant the tie looked set to go to extra time until Jordan Cook’s clearance off the line at a 94th minute corner struck Moore and trickled into the net to send Blackpool to Wembley and confirm Luton will remain in League Two.
Blackpool went ahead after 22 minutes when Mark Cullen, who scored a hat trick at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, picked up the ball in the middle of the park and ran through before crossing for Delfouneso to finish.
Luton equalised through an own goal at a half-cleared free-kick. The initial delivery was cleared out to Alan Sheehan, whose delivery was unintentionally prodded past his own goalkeeper by Mellor. The Hatters then took the lead on the night late in the first half when Scott Cuthbert headed in Sheehan’s free-kick.
A chance was then awarded for the Hatters to take the lead early in the second half when Hylton went down under the challenge of Ian Black, with Blackpool incensed and feeling no contact was made. When play resumed, Hylton struck in a panenka penalty via the underside of the bar.
That gave Luton the aggregate lead for the first time on the night, and Hylton then missed a chance to strengthen the advantage when he fired wide. But Blackpool were soon able to level on aggregate when substitute Gnanduillet beat Moore to head in Cullen’s swerving cross.
In added time, Blackpool enjoyed chances to grab a winner, and ultimately grabbed it in the 94th minute, in cruel circumstances for Hatter’s keeper Moore. A header from Mellor had been cleared off the line by Luton sub Cook, only for the ball to deflect off the Reading loanee and over the line.
The result ends Luton’s hopes of making League One, with Blackpool advancing to face Exeter City in the final at Wembley on May 28th and the Hatters consigned to another season in the 4th tier.