Hatters boss Nathan Jones admitted to being “shell-shocked” after his side lost their Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final 6-5 on aggregate to a 95th-minute own goal.
The visitors took the lead through Nathan Delfouneso, but the Town were straight back in it when Kelvin Mellor scored an own goal before Scott Cuthbert glanced in from Alan Sheehan’s cross just before the half-time whistle.
Danny Hylton was brought down by substitute Ian Black in the Pool penalty area, which the Town striker put away to extend his team’s lead and put them go in front on aggregate.
The Seasiders dragged themselves back into the tie when Armand Gnanduillet headed past Stuart Moore and then then Gary Bowyer’s side sealed their place at Wembley after Clark Robertson’s knock down deflected off Moore, via Jordan Cook’s attempted clearance, and into the Town goal in the dying moments.
Jones said: “I am devastated, a little bit shell-shocked really. For 76, 77 minutes we were in total control of the game. They scored from a breakaway in the first half, a bit of naivety. We have come back, we are 3-1 up, we were in the ascendancy.
“We had real good opportunities, real good counter attacks and we were building well. We played magnificently well. It’s just an error really has cost us. I really couldn’t see them coming back into the game.
“That’s what happens when you’ve got a big man on and you play it, and we didn’t handle that.
“That’s what has cost us in the end and I am bitterly disappointed. How we went about our work, I was standing there comfortable at 75 minutes – I just couldn’t see them scoring. Then everything changed.”