Stoppage time drama as Hatters are held by Dons
League One: Luton Town 2 AFC Wimbledon 2
Luton conceded a stoppage time equaliser as they were somehow held to a 2-2 draw by relegation threatened AFC Wimbledon this evening.
It looked like the Hatters were going to go to Burton Albion on Saturday just needing a point to secure promotion to the Championship, until Steve Seddon beat Marek Stech with virtually the last kick.
How the Dons were still in the game at that stage was mystifying, with Town utterly dominant, but missing a whole host of chances, and it came back to bite them badly at the death.
Luton made one change to their side, Andrew Shinnie back in from suspension, replacing the injured Alan Sheehan, meaning James Justin revered to left back once more.
Early on, Kazenga LuaLua forced a sprawling stop from Aaron Ramsdale, who then grabbed Luke Berry’s header before Elliot Lee could turn it in.
Town’s fast start paid dividends on eight minutes with another glorious move from deep, started by Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie threading a sublime ball through to Jack Stacey.
He picked out Lee, who managed to divert the ball over the line for his 11th of the season and first goal since November 27, ending a 23 game drought.
James Collins could have made it 2-0 side-footing Lee’s pass wide after another lightning break by Town.
LuaLua should have doubled Luton’s lead on 15 minutes, as he picked up a terrible Will Nightingale back header, but one-on-one with Ramsdale, could only shoot at the keeper.
Lee was denied a second of the evening, a goal-line clearance preventing his acrobatic attempt from going in.
Luton’s early momentum was then rocked somewhat with an injury to linesman Abbas Khan which saw play stopped for five minutes, the home crowd quietened as a result.
Wimbledon took advantage to level with their first effort on 28 minutes, as a wonderful cross by Antony Wordsworth was met by a pinpoint glancing header from former Town loanee Joe Pigott to make it 1-1.
Luton almost were back in front moments later when Luke Berry looped his header from James Justin’s corner over Ramsdale, only for Wordsworth to nod off the line.
Town weren’t to be kept out for long though as Justin delivered a free kick from the right on 39 minutes and Collins thumped his header beyond Ramsdale.
Hatters leading scorer almost walked in a third after another breathtaking move, while Justin’s corner was heading straight in but for the intervention of Ramsdale.
After the break, the visiting stopper then excelled himself with a quite magnificent fingertip save to prevent Lee’s deflected drive going in.
The now overworked Ramsdale parried Justin’s fierce blast over the top, while Luton kept on creating chance after chance, Berry not able to reach Justin’s low cross at the far post.
Dons then showed they weren’t out of the contest, Seddon putting a free header wide.
Back came Hatters, Berry bursting forward to shoot straight at Ramsdale after Stacey’s clever reverse pass.
The full back should have sealed the victory in the 90th minute, firing against the bar after another rampaging burst.
James Hanson should have made Town pay, glancing wide at the far post, but Seddon did, nodding over the line after Marek Stech saved from Pigott.
Harry Cornick couldn’t turn in a winner with the last kick, as Luton moved three points clear of Barnsley, and could still be promoted at the weekend if results go their way.
Hatters: Marek Stech, Jack Stacey, James Justin, Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Andrew Shinnie, Luke Berry (Alex Baptiste 89), Elliot Lee (George Moncur 81), James Collins, Kazenga LuaLua (Harry Cornick 81).
Subs not used: James Shea, Aaron Connolly, Jason Cummings, Corey Panter.
Dons: Aaron Ramsdale, Will Nightingale (C), Scott Wagstaff (Dylan Connolly 63), Anthony Hartigan (Mitch Pinnock 76), Steve Seddon, James Hanson, Toby Sibbick, Rod McDonald (Terrell Thomas 46), Paul Kalambayi, Joe Piggott, Anthony Wordsworth.
Subs not used: Tom Soares, Joe McDonnell, Shane McLoughlin, Michael Folivi.
Booked: Pigott 19, Seddon 38, LuaLua 70, Berry 86.
Referee: Ben Toner.
Attendance: 10,070 (733 Dons).