Luton Town 1 Fleetwood Town 3
FLEETWOOD respond-ed to back-to-back 1-0 defeats with a win to be revered among the club’s finest of all time.
They defeated the former League Cup winners and FA Cup finalists courtesy of a Gareth Seddon double, separated by Anthony Barry’s spectacular strike.
Micky Mellon’s side came back from behind to become only the second side to take three points at Kenilworth Road this season, avenging the Hatters’ 3-0 Highbury win last August in the process.
Junior Brown’s suspension meant a first start in seven games for Alan Wright, while Jamie Mullan replaced John Miles, and record signing George Donnelly was on the bench after injury.
In a frenetic start to the match, both sides looked for an early breakthrough.
Luton forced a corner in the first minute, before Jamie McGuire attempted a 25-yard volley for Fleetwood which flew wide.
An early goal looked likely and the Hatters scored it after only seven minutes.
Top scorer Matt Barnes-Homer broke down the right and crossed from the by-line for towering striker Lloyd Owusu, who was unmarked in the six-yard box to roll the ball in.
Town produced the perfect reply barely 90 seconds later, Seddon latching on to a perfectly weighted Magno Vieira through ball, then outmuscling Luton captain George Pilkington before slotting the ball under keeper Mark Tyler.
The visitors could have been in front moments later, when Vieira outpaced Pilkington and raced into the box only to see his shot from a tight angle turned round the post by Tyler.
McGuire’s header in the six-yard box was tipped over the bar by the busy home keeper, but the Town midfielder’s afternoon soon came to a premature end.
An Achilles injury picked up in a challenge by fellow midfielder Alex Lawless resulted in him being stretchered off.
Lawless almost gave Luton the lead when he saw keeper Scott Davies slightly off his line and unleashed a thunderous 30-yard piledriver which cannoned against the crossbar before Town cleared the danger.
And in first-half injury time, Barnes-Homer shot just wide following Owusu’s back header.
If Town had some lucky escapes in the first half, they dominated the second as Seddon threatened to double his goal tally.
The striker twice met dangerous crosses from the right by Mullan, only to be denied by outstanding Tyler stops, the first from a downward header and the second from a volley.
It was going to take something spectacular to beat the Luton keeper again and Barry certainly provided it in the 53rd minute.
Sean Clancy cut inside from the left and found the midfielder 30 yards from goal. Without hesitation, Barry unleashed a powerful first-time shot which swerved into the top right corner of the stranded Parry’s net.
Seddon applied the icing on top of the Town cake just two minutes later as Barry turned provider, weighting his through-ball perfectly to find the striker 20 yards out.
Seddon waltzed into the box to round Tyler and seal the points for Fleetwood.
Luton’s Jake Howells became the second player to leave via stretcher following a late challenge which earned Town substitute Nathan Pond a booking. However, an injury initially feared to be serious turned out to be no more than a gashed left shin.
It was Town’s first win on the road since the 5-2 demolition of Mansfield a month earlier – the last match Wright started – and they are on their travels again tomorrow to York, completing a sequence of four successive away fixtures in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The victory preserves Fleetwood’s play-off place, though Kidderminster remain just a point outside the top five after beating Altrincham.
Third-placed Luton have a six-point cushion over Town, and although this defeat damages their title hopes, they would still overtake leaders Wimbledon by winning their games in hand.
Fleetwood: Davies (GK), Wright, Haining, Gregan (C), Beeley, Clancy, Barry, McGuire (Pond 30), Mullan, Vieira, Seddon (Donnelly 82); not used: Hurst, Rowe, Milligan
Luton: Tyler, Gleeson, G Pilkington, Kroca, Howells (Poku 68), Gnakpa (Walker 76), Lawless, Keane, Morgan-Smith (Graham 59), Barnes-Homer, Owusu; not used: K Pilkington, Crow.
Ref: L Collins (Surrey); Attendance: 6,227 (76 from Fleetwood)