League Two - 1st Leg
Blackpool3Luton2

Blackpool 3-2 Luton Town

Mark Cullen
Mark Cullen's hat-trick took him up to 12 goals for the season

Mark Cullen scored a hat-trick as Blackpool beat Luton in their League Two play-off semi-final first leg.

Ex-Hatter Cullen gave the Tangerines the lead with a low strike that keeper Stuart Moore could not keep out.

Dan Potts' side-footed strike from Justin James' cut back and Isaac Vassell's sweet hit then put Luton ahead with two goals in two minutes.

But Cullen's superb 25-yard curling effort levelled the tie and he scored his third from the penalty spot.

The Tangerines will take their one-goal advantage to Kenilworth Road for the second leg on Thursday (19:45 BST).

After Cullen scored his brilliant second goal, Luton captain Scott Cuthbert wrestled Tom Aldred down in the penalty area to allow the striker to get his third from 12 yards.

Cullen was top scorer at Luton in his final season at the club but joined then League One side Blackpool for a fee of £180,000 in 2015.

The Tangerines suffered back-to-back relegations last season and are playing in the fourth tier for the first time in 15 years, but Gary Bowyer's first full campaign at the club has given them a chance of an immediate return to League One.

Luton, who finished fourth in League Two, had beaten seventh-placed finishers Blackpool twice already this season and had won their last six games before the defeat.

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer:

"We worked the first goal really well but we then had a crazy five minutes and that's something for us to learn from and get ready to go again on Thursday.

"The mentality's been the most pleasing aspect for me - the mentality we showed, and our game management, came to the fore after half-time.

"Mark Cullen is a goalscorer. He had two goals and I couldn't see anybody else taking that penalty off him, but he showed bravery and he put it away well."

Luton manager Nathan Jones:

"We showed naivety in our defending and that's what cost us. Going forward, there was no problem at all.

"I didn't expect to concede three goals - we have the second-best defensive record in the league - but we have, and now all we can do is make sure we don't concede any more.

"An open game will suit both teams in the second leg, but it won't just be an open game - we'll have a gameplan to win the game, and if we do that then we're still in the tie."

Line-ups

Blackpool

  • 1Slocombe
  • 6Aimson
  • 15Aldred
  • 5Robertson
  • 2Mellor
  • 35DannsSubstituted forFloresat 80'minutes
  • 28Payne
  • 8Potts
  • 3Taylor
  • 9CullenSubstituted forBlackat 85'minutes
  • 7VassellSubstituted forDelfounesoat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Flores
  • 16Nolan
  • 21Osayi-Samuel
  • 27Lyness
  • 30Delfouneso
  • 31Gnanduillet
  • 37Black

Luton

  • 1Moore
  • 16Rea
  • 6Cuthbert
  • 44SheehanBooked at 63mins
  • 36Justin
  • 24D'AthBooked at 77minsSubstituted forPalmerat 86'minutes
  • 19Lee
  • 17Ruddock
  • 3Potts
  • 9Hylton
  • 20VassellSubstituted forMarriottat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2O'Donnell
  • 4Smith
  • 7Gray
  • 14Marriott
  • 22Gambin
  • 28Palmer
  • 31King
Referee:
Nigel Miller
Attendance:
3,882

Match Stats

Home TeamBlackpoolAway TeamLuton
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home21
Away14
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home4
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Blackpool 3, Luton Town 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Blackpool 3, Luton Town 2.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Kelvin Mellor (Blackpool) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Olly Lee (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Ollie Palmer (Luton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Olly Lee with a headed pass.

Foul by Ollie Palmer (Luton Town).

Jordan Flores (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Pelly Ruddock (Luton Town) because of an injury.

Delay in match Andy Taylor (Blackpool) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Alan Sheehan (Luton Town) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by Andy Taylor.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Ollie Palmer replaces Lawson D'Ath.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Ian Black replaces Mark Cullen.

Attempt missed. Brad Potts (Blackpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jordan Flores.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Jordan Flores replaces Neil Danns.

Foul by Jack Marriott (Luton Town).

Will Aimson (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Lawson D'Ath (Luton Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lawson D'Ath (Luton Town).

Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Luton Town. Jack Marriott replaces Isaac Vassell.

Attempt blocked. Andy Taylor (Blackpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Payne.

Attempt blocked. Dan Potts (Luton Town) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Pelly Ruddock (Luton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Kelvin Mellor (Blackpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dan Potts (Luton Town).

Substitution

Substitution, Blackpool. Nathan Delfouneso replaces Kyle Vassell because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Blackpool 3, Luton Town 2. Mark Cullen (Blackpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty Blackpool. Tom Aldred draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Scott Cuthbert (Luton Town) after a foul in the penalty area.

Neil Danns (Blackpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Justin (Luton Town).

Booking

Alan Sheehan (Luton Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Hand ball by Alan Sheehan (Luton Town).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Mark Cullen (Blackpool) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Clark Robertson (Blackpool) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jack Payne with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Blackpool. Conceded by Glen Rea.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 14th May 2017

View all League Two results

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portsmouth462691179403987
2Plymouth462691171462587
3Doncaster4625101185553085
4Luton462017970432777
5Exeter462181775561971
6Carlisle461817116968171
7Blackpool4618161269462370
8Colchester4619121567571069
9Wycombe461912155853569
10Stevenage46207196763467
11Cambridge46199185850866
12Mansfield461715145450466
13Accrington461714155956365
14Grimsby461711185963-462
15Barnet461415175764-757
16Notts County46168225476-2256
17Crewe461413195867-955
18Morecambe461410225373-2052
19Crawley461312215371-1851
20Yeovil461117184964-1550
21Cheltenham461214204969-2050
22Newport461212225173-2248
23Hartlepool461113225475-2146
24Leyton Orient46106304787-4036
View full League Two table

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