Report | Luton Town 3-1 Blackpool

Luton Town came from behind to beat Championship strugglers Blackpool 3-1 at Kenilworth Road on Easter Monday.


Andy Lyons had given the Seasiders a surprise lead before Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu equalised on the stroke of half-time. Top scorer Carlton Morris fired the Hatters in front with just under 20 minutes to play, before Mpanzu scored his second and Town’s third with a superb finish to secure four points across the Easter period.

Manager Rob Edwards made one change to the starting line-up from the goalless draw against Millwall on Good Friday – with Reece Burke returning to the backline for his first start since February, in place of Gabe Osho.

It was a slow start at Kenilworth Road with both sides finding chances hard to come by. Blackpool, who were seven points adrift at the start of play, began positively but it was the Hatters who had the first shooting opportunity.

Marvelous Nakamba, as he does so often, won back possession in midfield and played a forward ball into Carlton Morris, who fired towards goal with a first-time shot, but it was blocked behind by captain Curtis Nelson for a corner.

Lewis Fiorini tested Ethan Horvath just before the half-hour mark with a strike from outside the box, before their second effort on goal two minutes later saw the Seasiders take the lead. Fiorini was the provider as he delivered a pinpoint free-kick towards Andy Lyons who guided a header off the ground and into the top corner.

It looked to be a good response with Carlton Morris and Allan Campbell both having shots blocked within seconds of each other, before Blackpool countered and almost scored a second through Josh Bowler but his attempt was beaten away by the USA international.

Luton finally managed to find a way past a stubborn Blackpool defence on the stroke of half-time through Mpanzu with his second goal of the campaign.

Cody Drameh’s free-kick was headed down by Morris to the midfielder, who took one touch to compose himself and a second to pick out the bottom corner.

It proved to a be a pivotal moment in the match, with momentum swinging Luton’s way as they put the Seasiders to the sword in the second period.

Morris went close five minutes into the half with a low shot that he fired into the side netting before boss Edwards made a positive double change after the hour mark – turning to Luke Berry and Cauley Woodrow off the bench.

Both had headed opportunities within minutes of coming on, with Woodrow coming closest from Drameh’s cross but Maxwell was equal to it. Nakamba then went close to what would have been a first and fortuitus Luton goal as his cross was missed by Town’s number 10 but proved difficult for the Blackpool keeper, who quickly got across his goal to turn it behind.

But after persistent pressure, the Hatters were rewarded for their patience when Morris scored his 17th goal of the season. Doughty’s cross was held up in the wind and James Husband’s attempted clearance went only as far as the former Barnsley man, who fired the ball into the bottom corner.

Five minutes later, Town claimed a third thanks to an emphatic finish from Mpanzu. Woodrow patiently waited for support into the box and his low cross was dispatched brilliantly by the midfielder who scored a brace for the first time since April 2019 when he netted twice against Accrington Stanley.

Alfie Doughty was forced off late into the contest following an aerial collision and Luke Freeman returned to action for the first time since December, but the Hatters managed to see out another important win which stretched their current unbeaten run to nine matches ahead of a trip to Rotherham United on Saturday.

Luton Town: Horvath; Drameh, Burke, Lockyer (C), Bell, Doughty (Freeman 86’); Nakamba, Mpanzu (Bradley 90+2'), Campbell (Berry 63’); Morris, Adebayo (Woodrow 63’).

Subs not used: Shea, Lansbury, Taylor.

Goals: Mpanzu (45+2', 77’), Morris (72’)

Blackpool: Maxwell; Lyons, Nelson (C), Thorniley, Husband; Carey (Dougall 75’), Fiorini (Poveda 75’), Hamilton; Anderson (Connolly 63’), Rogers, Bowler.

Subs not used: Grimshaw, Gabriel, Dougall, Poveda, Thompson, Patino.

Goals: Lyons (29’)

Yellows: Thorniley, Fiorini

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 9,772 (493 away)

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