Checkatrade Trophy, third round: Luton Town 0 Peterborough United 0 (Posh win 7-6 on penalties)
Luton Town were knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy at the third round stage as they were beaten 7-6 on penalties by League One Peterborough this evening.
After a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes which somehow finished goalless, both sides were on the money in the shoot-out, netting some wonderful spotkicks, until Frankie Musonda saw his attempt saved by Jonathan Bond.
Hatters made 10 changes for the contest, with only Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu retaining his place from the weekend's FA Cup defeat at Newcastle United, as Alan Sheehan came back in, his suspension counting just for league games.
Posh swapped two players, showing how importantly they were taking the competition, the now prolific former Hatters striker Jack Marriott leading the line.
The ex-Town man went close inside 20 seconds, dragging wide, while Lawson D'Ath forced visiting keeper Bond to palm behind with an instinctive 20-yard volley.
Jordan Cook leathered one wide from 25 yards as both sides made a bright start to proceedings, Marriott beating Musonda and denied by a great low stop from Shea.
The Town stopper, hoping to push his claims for a first team berth, had made a comfortable save from Junior Morias's hopeful long ranger and continued to impress, sprinting off his line to gather the ball from the onrushing Marcus Maddison.
Shea had to parry again from the lively Marriott and collect Danny Lloyd's cross-shot at his near post, before Town were forced into a change as Luke Gambin disappointingly hobbled off after a heavy challenge, Josh McQuoid back from his loan spell at Torquay to replace him.
The attacker almost marked his return immediately impact, taking Mpanzu's lovely pass, cutting in and firing at Bond, while Harry Cornick showed great determination to power past three and from Cook's audacious backheeled flick, shot at the keeper.
Town fashioned the chance of the half on 37 minutes as Cornick's superb cross from the right was met by Cook's downward header, only to clip the post and bounce out.
Marriott continued his one-man battle to try and beat Shea, the Luton stopper saving low down, while D'Ath blasted a half volley over.
Famewo continued to catch the eye both going forward and at the back, one moment effortlessly motoring away from Posh's midfielders to bring the ball out, while in the blink of any eye, producing an excellent sliding intervention to prevent Marriott making it 1-0.
After the break, the action was still at both ends in an always absorbing contest, even if genuine clear-cut chances dried up.
Shea blocked a fierce drive from Liam Shephard and McQuoid sliced wide on the run, while he had another go midway through the half, again into the midriff of Bond, with Famewo off target from a corner.
Sheehan sent a free kick over with nine minutes to play, after referee Antony Coggins waited to play an advantage and then when it arrived with Mpanzu clean through, crazily blew the whistle.
Shea saved his best for the closing moments as sub Jermaine Anderson looked certain to have won it, driving into the box and shooting low, the keeper producing a stunning one-handed stop to force penalties, where Posh triumphed.
Although out of their second tournament in four days, Town now have absolutely no distractions as they look to secure the promotion that has always been their number one goal this season.
Hatters: James Shea, Akin Famewo, Alan Sheehan (C), Frankie Musonda, Jack Stacey, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Gambin (Josh McQuoid 24), Lawson D'Ath (Olly Lee 82), Jack Senior, Jordan Cook, Harry Cornick (Andrew Shinnie 64).
Subs not used: Harry Isted, Dan Potts, Kavan Cotter, James Justin.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Liam Shepherd, Andrew Hughes, Ryan Tafazoli, Jack Baldwin (C), Danny Lloyd (Idris Kanu 57), Marcus Maddison, Jack Marriott, Junior Morias (Jermaine Anderson 68), Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (Michael Doughty 34), Anthony Grant.
Subs not used: Alex Penny, Conor O'Malley, Lewis Freestone, Andrea Borg.
Booked: Senior 86.
Referee: Anthony Coggins.
Attendance: 2,253 (408 Posh).
Hatters MOM: Akin Famewo. Impressed both at the back and going forward.