Blackpool 3 Luton 2 - Play-Off Semi-Final 1st Leg
The journey home from Blackpool was a silent, long trek.
Okay, the Hatters may still have a chance of getting through to the play-off final, at Wembley, after being beaten by Blackpool, at Kenilworth Road on Thursday evening, but it was the way in which the Town surrendered a 2-1 lead to lose that sticks in the throat, even more so when all three Blackpool goals were scored by Mark Cullen, a striker who Luton had previously sold.
Inside Bloomfield Road there was a strange atmosphere, with the Blackpool fans boycotting the fixture over the antics of their owner whilst 1700 Luton supporters made a right din. The swathes of empty orange seats, for such a crucial fixture, was hard to accept.
The Hatters fell behind, after dominating the play, when Stuart Moore failed to keep out a low-strike from Cullen.
However, the Hatters fought back in style and Dan Potts, who picked up a gaping head wound early on courtesy of an aerial collision, was on hand to crash a ball in from James Justin, the ball hit the bar, bounced back up, hit the bar again before the goal was given with the ball clearly over the line.
Buoyed by the goal, the Hatters were soon to take the lead when some more good work from Justin enabled Isaac Vassell to sweep the ball home.
Our hosts started the second half well and Cullen put Blackpool level with a curling shot that was worthy of the significance of the game.
With the game delicately balanced at 2-2, the Hatters were to concede a penalty when Scott Cuthbert was penalised for shirt-pulling and holding, Cullen stepped forward and beat more from twelve yards out to complete his hat-trick.
The Hatters will need a convincing display, and a little luck, to edge past a decent Blackpool side in the second leg, at Kenilworth Road, this Thursday evening.