Luton Town 2-2 Grimsby Town: Harry Clifton earns Mariners a replay against Championship play-off-chasers

League Two Grimsby Town earned a well-deserved replay against Championship Luton after an entertaining draw.

The Mariners made light of the 57-place gap between the two sides with a fine first-half display crowned by Gavan Holohan’s header just before the break.

Elijah Adebayo’s 49th-minute penalty leveled matters, before Jordan Clark fired Luton ahead after 66 minutes.

But the lead lasted under a minute as Harry Clifton struck to ensure Grimsby made it into the fifth-round draw.

In-form Luton had won five of their previous seven games to sit outside the Championship play-off spots only on goal difference, while the Mariners came into the contest 16th in League Two, having lost five of their past six away games.

The hosts made the early running with Adebayo seeing a shot blocked before Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu sent an effort wide of the target on his 350th appearance for the club.

Grimsby's Gavan Holohan scores at Luton
Grimsby’s Gavan Holohan rose highest to head the League Two side in front shortly before half-time

Luton thought they had gone ahead after 11 minutes when captain Dan Potts headed in Clark’s cross from just outside the six-yard box, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

Grimsby had their first effort on goal after 15 minutes when Anthony Driscoll-Glennon’s free-kick found Holohan but the midfielder’s header was easily held by Ethan Horvath.

Paul Hurst’s side grew in confidence as the half wore on and took the lead after 43 minutes when Holohan leapt highest from a deep corner to the far post to head in and give the Mariners the lead at the break.

The Hatters were back on level terms four minutes into the second half when Gabriel Osho was brought down in the box, allowing Adebayo to equalize from the penalty spot with his fourth goal in as many games.

Harry Clifton
Harry Clifton celebrates his equalizer which earned Grimsby a replay against Championship Luton

A much-improved Luton then went ahead after 66 minutes when Clark flicked-up Alfie Doughty’s pass before firing a fine effort past Max Crocombe to put Rob Edwards’ men in front for the first time.

But the lead lasted less than a minute as Grimsby went straight up the other end to score through Clifton, who got on the end of a cross to finish well past Horvath.

Luton pushed for a winner but the Mariners safely negotiated seven minutes of added time to ensure the game would be taken to a replay at Blundell Park.

Luton manager Rob Edwards:

“We seem to do it the hard way in the FA Cup. We’ve done it once in the third round, we’re going to have to go and do it again in the fourth.

“We didn’t get the first contact from the set-piece and we had to do it a different way and come from behind. We adjusted well, got the two goals, I’m really disappointed with how we reacted after we scored the second goal.

“It’s not like us, it’s uncharacteristic of us to switch off, we didn’t win the first ball, the second ball, it dropped to them and we could have defended it better. Credit to them, but we’ve got to do better at that moment.”

Grimsby boss Paul Hurst:

“I’m proud and really pleased for the players, for the football club in terms of there’ll be some more income generated, and the fans.

“You say going into the game, it’s great, you want to test yourself, [but] there’s also an element of realism about what can happen as Luton are a fantastic side.

“You want to give a good account of yourself and I think the players certainly did that. There’s no doubt we had to give possession up, but I do think we performed well, played some good football and towards the end, perhaps the game could have had a winner.”



Formation 3-5-2

  • 34Horvath
  • 32Osho
  • 4Lockyer
  • 3PottsSubstituted forOnyedinmaat 75′minutes
  • 45Doughty
  • 18Clark
  • 22CampbellSubstituted forWoodrowat 59′minutes
  • 17MpanzuSubstituted forberryat 82′minutes
  • 29Bell
  • 7CornickSubstituted forMorrisat 60′minutes
  • 11Adebayo


  • 8berry
  • 9Morris
  • 10Woodrow
  • 16Burke
  • 20Watson
  • 21Isted
  • 23Onyedinma
  • 28Thorpe
  • 43Nelson


Formation 5-4-1

  • 1CrocombeBooked at 90mins
  • 2Ephete
  • 26Smith
  • 6waterfall
  • 31MaherBooked at 73mins
  • 3Driscoll-GlennonSubstituted forKhouriat 90+7′minutes
  • 8HolohanBooked at 88minsSubstituted forGreenat 90+7′minutes
  • 16Hunt
  • 17Morris
  • 15CliftonBooked at 45mins
  • 20BearsBooked at 65mins


  • 4Green
  • 5pearson
  • 13Battersby
  • 30Khouri
  • 39Essel
  • 44Scannell

Tim Robinson


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