MATCH REPORT: Luton 1-0 Blackpool
A last-minute goal denied Blackpool what would have been a hard-earned and deserved point against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
The Seasiders' nine-match unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end when Hatters striker Ollie Palmer tapped home in the final minute of the game to hand his side the three points.
It was harsh on Pool who had been well in the game and had wasted chances of their own, with Luton shot stopper Matt Macey making a string of saves to deny Gary Bowyer's side.
Despite the defeat, Blackpool remain in the play-offs with just six games remaining of the season.
The stalemate sees Blackpool drop down one place but they remain in the play-off places with just six games now remaining.
Luton settled into their stride the quicker after what was a slow and edgy start to proceedings.
The first sight of goal came the host’s way, but the Hatters’ top scorer Danny Hylton was unable to get a long throw under control and the ball was eventually collected by Dean Lyness in the Pool goal.
A few minutes later and another half chance came Hylton’s way, but he failed to get enough on his shot and it trickled its way through to Lyness.
The Seasiders were looking decidedly nervy in the opening exchanges and the hosts were only too happy to take advantage - with Lyness once again being forced into making a smart stop to deny the dangerous Hylton.
Alan Sheehan was encouraged to have a go from the corner of the box by the Luton fans and he duly obliged, only to see his drilled effort flash wide of the far post.
For all of Luton’s early dominance, it was Blackpool who had the first major opening of the game. It came after Colin Daniel made the most of some space down the left flank and his whipped cross was met by the unmarked Mark Cullen, who could only glance wide against his former side.
Pool were now starting to find their feet and came close to breaking the deadlock shortly after following some superb wing play by Bright Osayi-Samuel, who beat his man before seeing his pullback denied by a Luton defender when Brad Potts seemed set for a tap in.
The Luton backline seemed terrified of Osayi-Samuel every time he picked up the ball in space and that came to the fore once again after the teenager weaved his way in between a couple of challenges before sending a looping effort towards the top corner, but Luton ‘keeper Matt Macey produced a fine stop to tip it over the bar.
Neil Danns also brought out a good save from Macey after battling his way through a couple of challenges before seeing his volley calmly collected.
There was little to report in the opening stages of the second half apart from a couple of penalty appeals that came Blackpool’s way when Osayi-Samuel and Tom Aldred appeared to be felled in the box, but neither were given.
Pool began to take control of the game as they frustrated their hosts, while their counter attacks continued to prove effective.
Pool’s top scorer Kyle Vassell was introduced halfway through the second period and he almost had an immediate impact, bringing out a superb reflex save from Macey with an acrobatic overhead kick.
The game began to open up from this point and Luton went close on the break, with Lyness producing a fine one-handed stop to deny Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
Both sides appeared hesitant to throw everything forward in the dying stages but Luton took advantage of one final chance to finally break the deadlock with Palmer tapping home in the last minute of normal time.
Luton: Macey, O'Donnell (Gambin), Cuthbert, Rea, Sheehan, Justin, Mpanzu, Lee, D'Ath, Vassell (Palmer), Hylton (Marriott)
Subs not used: Moore, Smith, Bakinson, Famewo
Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Daniel, Payne, Danns, Flores, Potts (Odelusi), Osayi-Samuel (Delfouneso), Cullen (Vassell)
Subs not used: Slocombe, Aimson, Black, Matt
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Attendance: 7,968 (418 Blackpool)