Carlisle 1-1 Luton: Luton promoted to League One after draw at Carlisle
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/04/18 7:33pm
A 1-1 draw with Carlisle was sufficient to clinch promotion for Luton, sparking wild celebrations among their 1,404 travelling fans at Brunton Park.
The Cumbrians had threatened to spoil the party when they took an early lead through a Danny Grainger penalty, but Olly Lee snatched the vital equaliser for Luton in the second half.
Carlisle started brightly and Hatters goalkeeper James Shea dealt with shots from Mike Jones and Jamie Devitt before the home side went ahead from the penalty spot in the 13th minute.
Luke Joyce and Ashley Nadesan combined to slip the ball through for Richie Bennett who was tripped by Shea. Grainger sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
After a shaky start, Luton began forcing their way into the game and had the home defence at full stretch as James Collins flicked a pass on for Jack Stacey to test Carlisle goalkeeper Jack Bonham at the near post.
Danny Hylton, Olly Lee and Alan McCormack all had efforts blocked in a chaotic passage of play in the Carlisle penalty area during which the Cumbrians also survived an appeal for handball, and just before the break Collins whipped in a low shot that flew inches wide via a deflection.
Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu flashed a shot across the face of goal as Luton came out for the second half looking to get their promotion push back on track.
Luton grabbed the equaliser in the 62nd minute when Bonham made a good save from Hylton's 20-yard effort and Olly Lee was on hand to sweep the loose ball into the net from close range.
Ruddock-Mpanzu further raised the hopes of Luton's travelling support when he was sent clear by Stacey only to be denied in a one-on-one challenge by Bonham.
The same player again almost snatched maximum points for the visitors when his header spun up against the top of the crossbar.