In what must go down as one of the most incredible comebacks of all time at Kenilworth Road, all looked lost with the U's a goal to the good following substitute Matt Green's deflected strike with 16 minutes to play.
Defeat would have been harsh on the Hatters after they dominated the game, especially the second period, for long spells.
After a bright opening from the Town they failed to build on and test U's goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and as the first half wore on the visitors gained the upper hand.
The Hatters had Mark Tyler to thank for a terrific save with his legs as Alfie Potter marched through one-on-one against the goalkeeper on 14 minutes.
Oxford were buoyed by that chance and two minutes later the Town had skipper Kevin Nicholls
to thank for a crucial block to prevent Simon Clist's volley landing up in the net.
Still, the U's pressed and Potter went on a weaving run down the left flank, beating four Town defenders in the process before shooting wide.
But then the Hatters came back to life and ended the first half on top.
And in truth they should have gone in at the break a goal to the good as Tom Craddock twice came close with super efforts a minute before the break.
Firstly the striker saw a thumping low drive come back off the left-hand post after playing a one-two with Hatch before nifty footwork allowed him to rifle a swerving shot goalwards 30 seconds later that surprised Clarke in the visitors' goal.
The second period was all the Town but despite their possession they couldn't register a shot at Clarke.
Oxford had barely crossed the the halfway and manager Chris Wilder decided enough was enough and brought on striker Matt Green for Sam Deering on 72 minutes.
The switch had the desired effect for the visitors only two minutes later when Green was on hand to steer the ball past Tyler, via the aid of a deflection off Pilkington, to give them the lead.
All seemed lost as time ticked down.
Substitute Matthew Barnes-Homer spurned two great chances to level things when well placed while Claude Gnakpa
and Adam Newton both came close as the Town huffed and puffed.
But after five minutes of injury time had been indicated the Hatters staged their fightback.
In the third minute of added time Pilkington stooped to head home at the back post through a sea of bodies to bring the scores level and send Kenilworth Road crazy.
But it got even better for the Hatters three minutes later - and six minutes into injury time - when, unbelievably, Keane curled a corner from the left-flank into the box that eluded everyone.
The the ball arched over Clarke and nestled in the back of the net to send the home crowd into ecstacy.
Keane was dismissed after earning a second booking following his celebration as the drama continued unabated admid frentic scenes inside the old ground.
Seconds later referee
Madley - aptly named enough - called time on a breathless encounter.
The three points pushes the Hatters into fifth place in the BSP.
Not a bad night's entertainment...in the end.
For minute-by-minute analysis, see below.
Result from Kenilworth Road
Luton Town 2 (Pilkington 90, Keane 90)
Oxford United 1 (M. Green 74)
FULL TIME LUTON TOWN 2-1 OXFORD UNITED - All the reaction to come.
90 + 6 mins - Keano's been shown a second yellow card and has been dismissed. Unbelievable.
90 + 6 mins - GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL HATTERS 2-1 Oxford - KEANO- DIRECT FROM A CORNER - INCREDIBLE
90 + 3 mins - GOAL!!! HATTERS 1-1 Oxford - They've done it! I can't keep up!
90 + 3 mins - All hands to the pump for the visitors as the Hatters press. Keane swings in a delightful free-kick after Nelthorpe.
90 + 1 min - Half chance for theHatters as Keane pings a ball towards Gnakpa who gets above Tonkin but the Frenchman can only head wide of the target.
90 mins - The scorboard strikes 90:00 and we've got an additional five minutes to play for the Hatters to find a late, late leveller.
88 mins - Oxford running the clock down now and the Town are struggling to get the ball. The clock is ticking...How much time will there be to add on?
86 mins - There's a chance. Lovely ball from Jarvis and Barnes-Homer is in on goal. However, Clarke is quick to spot the danger and comes off his line to block the striker's shot with his legs. Crucial save from the visiting stopper. Damn.
82 mins - All the Town now as Newton sees a goalbound shot blocked by Wright with the Kenny End claiming handball, the ref's not giving anything.
81 mins - It's the biggest gate of the season: 8,860, which includes 1,500 shouting for Oxford.
80 mins - The Kenilworth Road scoreboard reads 80:00 - Ten minutes left to salvage something from this. They'll get one chance. But can they take it? Come on!
78 mins - Super chance spurned by MBH as he receives the ball inside the D following good play from Craddock but the striker can only blaze a fierce shot high over Clarke's crossbar.
Third and final change from Richard Money as Craig Nelthorpe replaces Hall.
74 mins - GOAL Luton 0-1 OXFORD - Oh dear. Substitute Green's only been on the pitch two minutes and he's given the visitors the lead. Potter scampered down the right and saw his cross headed across by Clist to the U's sub who saw his volley deflected past Tyler, giving him no chance.
73 mins - Hallcurls a shot narrowly high and wide of Clarke's goal following great endeavour from Jarvis and neat play from Gnakpa.
72 mins - First change for Oxford and it's Matt Green on in the place of Deering.
67 mins - Half chance for the Town as the ball is knocked on by Hall, it opens up for Barnes-Homer but before he can get a shot away Oxford close ranks and the chances goes beggining.
64 mins - Back come the Hatters as Gnakpa fires a wild left-foot shot from the right-hand edge of the penalty area.
63 mins - Getting a bit narky out there now as Kovacs is penalised after it looked like he'd nicked the ball clear ahead of Deering. From the resulting free-kick swung in by Batt, Day nods the ball across to Midson but he can only head straight at Tyler from close range.
Yep, Hatchy's evening is over. Another good performance from the warrior. On comes Matthew Barnes-Homer. Barney is sporting bright yellow boots and gloves. Fashion conscious?
59 mins - Hatch is looking groggy and this could be the end of the striker's night with activity on the Hatters' bench.
56 mins - Kovacs is harshly booked for blocking off Midson and from the resulting free-kick the visitors come to within inches of taking the lead as Deering's set-piece floats agonisingly over the head of the on-rushing Day. Now that was close.
54 mins - But back come Oxford and that man Potter again tries his luck from 25 yards, cutting in from the right, but his shot flashes past the post and doesn't harm Tyler's goal.
53 mins - It's all the Town at the minute but still goalless, a low key start to this second half.
51 mins - First Hatters booking of the night as Keane goes into a sliding challenge on Hargreaves.
47 mins - The Town have started the second period brightly and force and early corner. Gnakpa's up for this. Pilkington takes over the captain's armband following Nico's withdrawal.
We're back underway for the second half and it's the Town that kick-off the final 45. COYH! That substitution sees Jarvis move into central midfield and Claude go out to the right flank.
Change at the interval for the Hatters with Gnakpa on for Nicholls.
HALF-TIME LUTON TOWN 0-0 OXFORD UNITED - All square at the end of an entertaining first half. The Town will not have wanted that half to end with Craddock coming close. So unlucky. Check back in 15 minutes for the second half. COYH!
45 mins - As the crowd get louder, the fourth official adds a further two minutes to the first half.
44 mins - It's warming up. A shame considering it will be half-time in a minute. Craddock goes twice to opening the scoring in spectacular fashion. Firstly he drives through the middle of the park, swaps passes with Hatch before rifling a shot from 25 yards that comes back off the post. Then, 30 seconds he wriggle past two challenges before smacking a vicious right-foot shot that takes Clarke by surprise. The keeper has to parry it. Great play from the Hatters. So unlucky.
42 mins - Back come the Town and Hall tests Clarke in the U's goal with a drive from 25 yards. It takes a bobbles which means he cant gather properly but it's easy for the stopper. That's the first shot on target of the night for the Hatters.
41 mins - Another quick break away from Oxford as Midson threads a lovely pass through to Potter again. However, Pilkington is with him and makes a terrific sliding tackle to rob the winger of the ball. Absolute outstanding defender from the Town's number six.
39 mins - A bit of afters on the pitch as Jarvisgoes in hard on Hargreaves which Bulman doesn't like the look of as he stands up to his fellow midfield. No cards though.
36 mins - More good play from the visitors as Midson has a shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area blocked after good work from Deering and Potter. The Hatters keep giving the ball back to the U's and it's frustrating the home crowd.
34 mins - Error from Keane in the centre of the field, playing a quick free-kick, nearly puts the Hatters in trouble. Deering's on to it and his eyes light up. He tries a shot from 20
yards that is caught easily by Tyler. The Hatters keeper does make those saves look remarkably easy.
31 mins - As it stands this is anyones. The first goal is going to be crucial. The Town are now getting stuck into those midfieldm challenges with Nicholls, Hall, Craddock and Keane all putting it in where it hurts.
27 mins - Back come the Town and perhaps it should be 1-0. Newton races down the right flank to feed Hall but he is dispossessed and it looks like the move has broken down. However, Nico seizes on the loose ball and plays a first time pass to Craddock. He gets the better of Batt down the left and sends a low cross daisycutting along the face of goal. Again, no Luton man is there for a simple tap-in and Tonkin has to concede a corner which is cleared.
24 mins - Potter may have missed the best opportunity so far but he's clearly not been affected by it. He goes on a slaloming run past four Hatters men down the left-flank and into the penalty box. However, despite such impressive dribbling, his shooting isn't up to the same standard and - to the Town's relief - he can only drag his shot wide of Tyler's right-hand post.
22 mins - Back to even-steven again as the Town crept back into things. However, Oxford cause confusion in the Hatters penalty box as a long throw from Tonkin is headed goalwards by Day but no visiting player is around to tuck the ball home and Tyler can claim an easy catch.
16 mins - All of a sudden it's all the visitors. From the resulting corner U's left-back Tonkin sees a volley from outside of the area blocked by Craddock. Then, a minute later, Nico does brilliantly to get in the way of Simon Clist's goalbound volley from close range after good play from Midson.
14 mins - It was all Luton and then Oxford fluff the best chance of the game. Sam Deering finds Alfie Potter with a lovely slide-rule pass. The little winger is clean through and one-on-one witrh Tyler. As he shots, Tyler sticks out a leg and the ball goes behind for a corner. That was close.
8 mins - First half chance of the game falls to the Hatters who are enjoying a fine start and bossing things. Jarvis breaks down the right. As the goal opens up he drives further forward. He sends a low cross across the face of goal that eludes Hatch and Craddock in the six yard box when a touch from either would have put the Town ahead. Good stuff.
7 mins - That boy Hatch works hard. He chases a lost cause down the right and squares the ball into the box. No Town attack is waiting but Batt and Clarke, the U's keeper, get in a pickle and centre-half Rhys Day as to mop up the confusion by whacking the ball away.
4 mins - The Hatters are lining up slightly differently this evening. It's a back four of Pilkington, Kovacs, Newton - on the right - and Murray - on the left. In midfield the Hatters have Jarvis on the right and and Craddock on the left in advanced positions with Hall, Keane and Nicholls in the middle. And that leaves Hatch up front.
2 mins - Plenty of fans still coming through the turnstiles and the Town are on top early doors as the volume goes up a notch. Great atmosphere already.
We're off as the visitors kick-off shooting towards the Kenilworth Road end. Enjoy the updates! COYH.
19:44 ALMOST SET
Come on you Hatters!
19:42 HERE THEY COME
The two sides are out on the pitch and are greeted by a full house. The Town are in their orange shirts, white shorts and socks while Oxford are in white shirts and navy blue shorts and socks.
19:39 PRESS BOX PREDICTIONS
Andrew Barringer: 2-0 Luton. Mark Wood: 3-1 Luton. James Cunliffe: 2-2 draw. Alec Swann: 1-0 Luton. Euan Duncan: 3-1 Luton. Ian Pearce: 2-0 Luton.
19:35 BRING IT ON
Ten minutes to kick-off, the ground is almost full and we're almost...almost set. The atmosphere is building. COYH!
19:25 A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Sixteen years ago, on Tuesday 6th February 1994, the Hatters beat Newcastle United 2-0 in an FA Cup fourth round replay. John Hartson and Scott Oakes were on target in a famous cup victory on a night of high drama under the Kenilworth Road floodlights. Good times.
19:00 ONE CHANGE
The team news from the Kenilworth Road dressing rooms have reached us, and Town boss Richard Money makes one change to the side that won 1-0 at Barrow on Saturday.
Claude Gnakpa came off with a knock at the weekend and hasn't recovered sufficient enough so in comes Rossi Jarvis to the Hatters' XI. The Frenchman does make the substitutes' bench, however, as does Matthew Barnes-Homer who has overcome illness.
Hatters: Tyler, Keane, Kovacs, Pilkington, Newton, Nicholls, Hatch, Craddock, Hall, Jarvis, Murray.
Substitutes: Gore, Howells, Gnakpa, Nelthorpe, Barnes-Homer.
Oxford United: Clarke, Batt, Bulman, Hargreaves, Midson, Clist, Wright, Potter, Day, Tonkin, Deering.
Substitutes: Turley, Creighton, Chapman, F. Green, M. Green.
18:50 LISTENING FROM HOME
Andy Dawkins: "Born and bred in Dunstable, a season ticket holder, forced to relocate to Stoke by the Mrs, glad she's got the evening at work so I can listen to this game. Desperate for a performance from the lads out there, got my Hatters shirt on to try and cheer them on from here. I'm going for a 2-1 win, Hatch and Keane to score. There'll be goals, hopefully to us. Will be missing the atmosphere at the Kenny terribly, but will hope to pick it up from the radio. Come on you Hatters!"
18:40 FROM TEL AVIV WITH LOVE
Jonathan Cohen emails: "Hi from Israel. Come on you mighty hatters. It's a far cry from the Littlewoods Cup Semi Final of 1988, but just as crucial. Me and my cat Chantale will be roaring on the Town tonight! Prediction 1-0 to Luton. Craddock, last minute. Keep up the great work. Wish I could be there."
18:32 11-GOAL REPEAT?
Tom Skinner, via Facebook: "What are the chances of another 7-4 goalfest between these sides then?! Come on you Hatters!"
18:30 T-MINUS 75 MINUTES
One hour and 14 minutes to kick-off and more and more people are gathering outside the turnstiles before the ground opens. Behind the scenes club staff are coolness personified as they get ready to deal with 9,000 fans inside Kenilworth Road. Meanwhile, those famous floodlights are charging up...
18:05 OFFICIAL FACEBOOK THOUGHTS
Ian Woodman: 2-1 Hatters.
Joe Smith: 1-0 Luton, Claude to score.
18:00 IT'S COLD OUT THERE
Just stepping pitchside to take one last look of an empty Kenilworth Road before it fills up, it's noticable how cold it is how there. It's absolutely freezing. The groundstaff have just left one last cover off of the turf to protect the Kenny End goalmouth from the cold.
If you're coming to the game: please wrap up warm. If you need those hats, gloves and scarves then your first port of call should be the club shop. Check out what's on offer by visiting www.hattersshop.co.uk.
17:40 TRANS-ATLANTIC HATTERS
We've received not one but two emails from across the Atlantic from Town fans in America and Canada.
Graham Cowling writes: "Thanks for the your email and fantastic portal to be more engaged in the game build-up. Born in Luton, I have always been a Hatters fan. To my knowledge, a lone Hatters fan in Denver, Colorado?
"I will be very happy for the Hatters to keep a clean sheet!"
Richard Mulley, from Toronto, Canada, says: "I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the boys....I'm going 2-1 Luton. Shout out to my brother Paul who'll be there tonight."
17:05 MORE PREDICTIONS
Tracy Ring: Luton 3-0 Oxford. Tracy is too nervous to switch on the Hatters Player commentary tonight!
Andrew Mower: "I'm going for 2-0 Town, with Hatch and Asa Hall getting on the scoresheet. With super Mark Tyler back in goal and their top scorer suspended we can't concede!"
We've had an email through from Richard Cahill who is wondering whether or not to wear his Luton shirt this evening. He wants to, in a show of support for the club he loves, but the trouble is we've lost every time he's worn it...A pretty tough dilemma to be faced with ahead of such a crucial game this evening.
It begs the question, how many of you are you superstituous? And if so, what kind of pre-match ritual or routine do go through prior to watching the Town? Email us on the address above.
16:25 POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Plenty of positive predictions from the Hatters fans on Facebook...Strikers Liam Hatch and Tom Craddock are fancied to score tonight by the looks of it. The pair are both 13/2 chances to score the first or last goal this evening and 2/1 to do so at any time with our betting partner bet365.
16:00 YOUR FACEBOOK THOUGHTS
Shaun Hockham: Luton 3-1 Oxford - Craddock to score twice.
Oli Elkington: Luton 2-1 Oxford - Hatch and Craddock.
Mark James: 1-1 - Barnes-Homer.
Aaron Jarman: 1-0 to Luton - Keano the hero.
Petey Staniforth: My seven-year-old daughter's calling a 2-1 win for us - I'm going with that. And Tommy Craddock to get at least one of them.
Andy Brett: Luton 3-0 Oxford - Two from Hatch and one from Craddock.
Louise Bloxham: 4-1 Luton.
Matt Bailey: 0-0.
15:00 CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Games don't come much bigger than this.
In September over 10,000 people crammed into the Kassam Stadium and tonight just under that will click through the Kenilworth Road turnstiles for the most eagerly anticipated fixture of the season.
Two former League Cup winners, who have both have both played in the top flight, go head-to-head in the Blue Square Premier.
It seems a far cry from the heady days of Division One.
But that will be put to one side this evening in one of the biggest matches the BSP has ever seen.
The Town - pre-season title favourites - against Chris Wilder's Oxford - the league leaders.
It might only be three o'clock in the afternoon but there is a right buzz around the ground...In just under five hours time the old ground will be jumping.
Let's hope by 9.30 that's still the case.
Remember, just under 9,000 people will be at Kenilworth Road tonight but if for whatever reason you can't make the match then we'll have all the goals and incidents as it happens live with the usual news in the run-up to kick-off with team line-ups and plenty of chat as your official website has, as ever, all the usual updates keeping you bang up-to-date with all the action - and in a number of ways.
There's none of those boring ball-by-ball "defensive thrown-in taken by Luton left-back" updates as we continue to try and bring you an updated and detailed text commentary. This is a great way to keep in touch and has been popular to those supporters not able to get to a computer or a radio as the service is also available and is updated live on our WAP site.
On Hatters Player you all have access to our live commentary. Remember, Player is available as ever which means you all have access to our live commentary. If you haven't heard it yet then where you have been? It's brought to you by Simon "Statto" Pitts - who is quickly making a name for himself with commentary that is the envy of all the competition. Once again he'll be sitting high above the rest of us in the haven of the gantry with the best view in the house to call home the shots.
Of course after the action has finished, Hatters Player will have all the post-match interviews from all the men that matter tonight.
Whether on Hatters Player or not, we'll have plenty of content to keep you interested as we'll have all of the post-match reaction as well as match action from Gareth Owen to follow after the final whistle. Be sure to check out www.hatterspics.co.uk - our brand new online image library.
Remember, we want you to get in touch. Join the updates and get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pick the best comments to go live on the site during our live updates.
Don't forget we're also on twitter and Facebook so feel free to interact with your fellow fans online.
Enjoy the game.