Match Report: Luton Town 3-1 Morecambe
MORECAMBE suffered a final day defeat as Luton substitute Jack Marriott scored two late goals to give the home side a confidence boosting win ahead of their play off semi-final against Blackpool.
Marriott gave the Hatters the three points with two late strikes after the Shrimps had forced their way back into the game through a Michael Rose penalty after Isaac Vassell’s 29th minute opener.
Overall it was another game where the Shrimps were left feeling aggrieved by some controversial refereeing decisions. Luton defender Dan Potts could easily have received a red card for a two footed lunge on Aaron Wildig in the first half and boss Jim Bentley was left questioning the referee how Scott Cuthbert escaped a sending off for pulling down Mullin in the lead up to the Shrimps' penalty.
Luton started the day with a guaranteed play off spot but picked a full strength side while Morecambe made three changes as Barry Roche, Aaron Wildig and Antony Evans were all recalled.
It was the home side who took the lead in the 29th minute. A Luke Gambin corner was headed goalwards and parried by Barry Roche but Isaac Vassell was in the right place at the right time to hammer home the loose ball from close range.
The home side thought they had doubled their lead on 56 minutes when Glen Rea headed home a Gambin corner only to see his effort ruled out for a foul.
The Shrimps added to the home side’s frustration one minute later when they equalised from the penalty spot when Paul Mullin was brought down in the box by Scott Cuthbert and Rose made no mistake from the spot.
Luton hit back with Pelly-Ruddock Mpenzu twce going close before Luton sub Marriott made an immediate impression with a fine finish with virtually his first touch of the ball. He was played in down the right hand side and struck a low shot to beat Roche low to his right.
The Morecambe keeper then produced an amazing save to deny Mpenzu before Mullin went close to bringing the Shrimps level again, blazing over from a great opening and seeing a shot from close range superbly saved by Moore.
Moore's save looked even better as Luton added a third when Marriott tried his luck from distance and his shot crept through a crowd of bodies before beating Roche.
Luton started the better and forced the Morecambe defence on the back foot with superb blocks needed from Ryan Edwards and Alex Kenyon from Ollie Palmer and Gambin.
Jake Grey twice fired over the bar from the edge of the area and Vassell was denied a second by a fine Aaron Wildig block.
Morecambe’s best efforts of the first half came from Paul Mullin who shot straight at Stuart Moore and Ryan Edwards who went inches wide with a well struck drive from 35 yards.
Luton: Moore, James (rep O’Donnell 63), Cuthbert, Rea, Potts, Mpanzu, Gambin (rep D’Ath 78), Gray, Lee, Palmer, Vassell (rep Marriott 72).
Subs not used: Smith, Banton, Famewo, King
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan (rep Duckworth 60), Edwards, Whitmore, Molyneux, Kenyon, Rose, Wildig (rep Hedley 87), Evans (rep Fleming 73), Ellison, Mullin.
Subs not used: Nizic, Wakefield, Turner, Jordan.
Ref: J Busby.