Luton Town saw their unbeaten home record ended by an impressive Grimsby Town outfit at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, with striker Omar Bogle proving the difference.
The forward, who was on the radar of the Hatters earlier in his career, produced two clinical finishes in either half to beat a Luton side, who but for a flurry before and after Glen Rea levelled the score on the hour mark, never got anywhere reaching the heights on display against Wycombe last weekend.
Town boss Nathan Jones made just one change, with the fit-again Alan Sheehan in for his first start of the season, replacing Scott Cuthbert.
Luton’s defence almost came a cropper early though, as a misplaced pass out from the back, something that was to become at traight all afternoon, was pounced upon by Omar Bogle, but Johnny Mullins got back to apply the pressure and his effort flashed wide of the target.
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Grimsby started much the better than the hosts, looking lively, particularly on the right with Ashley Chambers and Ben Davies to the fore, Luke Summerfield going close, his goalbound drive flying in, only for Sheehan to bravely throw himself in the way at the expense of a corner.
The visitors were to enjoy plenty of space and possession in the opening stages and Town were indebted to a wonderful stop from Christian Walton on 21 minutes, superbly readjusting to tip Dominic Vose’s deflected 20-yarder over the bar.
Summerfield had a free header off target from the corner, before there were further warning signs with Vose wide from another dangerous cross as Luton appeared stuck in neutral from the word go.
The visitors got the goal their play fully deserved though on 30 minutes, as a corner wasn’t properly cleared and Luke Summerfield’s shot pinged around the area, allowing top scorer Bogle to slot into the empty net.
Sheehan was fortunate to only see yellow after bringing down Davies, when he appeared to be the last man, with Bogle’s free kick blocked and Jordan Cook at full stretch to repel Vose’s follow up too.
Hatters made a double change at the break, with Olly Lee making way for Glen Rea once more, after failing to get to grips with the Mariners’ midfield, the second time in three games he has been taken off early,
While Hylton, who took a whack to the face moments before half time, was replaced by Isaac Vassell.
Still Grimsby continued to dominate though, Bogle set free on the left once more and his low shot turned behind by the impressive Walton.
After failing to test the visiting keeper in the opening 50 minutes, James McKeown was finally called into action when Marriott’s instinctive half volley drew a good block, while O’Donnell hung up a cross and Cameron McGeehan glanced wide.
Luton began to look a different outfit, as they started snapping into challenges, winning the ball back high up the pitch and employing their forward press which boss Jones craves.
All that was lacking was the final pass, as Grimsby’s defence was alive to snuff out the threat, although Jordan Cook did finally send Marriott clear and he went wide, before shooting low, McKeown getting down well to turn behind for a corner.
After being virtually unemployed in the first period, McKeown was then called upon once more, superbly turning Marriott’s effort over after the striker broke the offside trap.
He was eventually beaten on 59 minutes though, powerless to even more when the ball was played across to Rea who arrowed a swerving drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Kenilworth Road was no rocking once again, full of belief that Town could come back to triumph, and they almost took the lead when O’Donnell found Cook whose fine cross was met by McGeehan, the ball then bouncing off his head and dropping inches wide of the target.
The Mariners weren’t out of it by any stretch though, as Summerfield’s volley was just past the post, as while Luton then should have been in front, Vassell diverting Marriott’s fine cross over the top from eight yards.
It was Grimsby who won it though with seven minutes to go as Town were caught out on a foray forward and Rea couldn’t do enough to prevent sub Kayden Jackson sending over a pinpoint cross for Bogle to get in between Mullins and Sheehan to head beyond Walton.
The margin of victory could have been even greater late on, as Vose side-footed wide and then Chambers should definitely have sealed it as he was clean through, but rushed his effort with just Walton to beat.
Hatters threw bodies forward in the closing stages, Vassell and Rea both missing their kicks, while Newcastle loanee Alex Gilliead showed some inventive touches in his brief cameo, dancing into the area, only for Vassell to prod behind.
Results elsewhere saw Town drop to third in the table, with Plymouth going top after their fifth straight league win and Portsmouth now into second.
Hatters: Christian Walton, Stephen O’Donnell, Dan Potts, Alan Sheehan (C), Olly Lee (Glen Rea 46), Jordan Cook, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Alex Gilliead 85), Cameron McGeehan, Danny Hylton (Isaac Vassell 46), Jack Marriott.
Subs not used: Craig King, Jake Gray, Jonathan Smith, Scott Cuthbert.
Mariners: James McKeown, Ben Davies (C), Danny Andrew, Shaun Pearson, Josh Gowling, Ashley Chambers, Omar Bogle, Dominic Vose, Luke Summerfield, Brandon Comley, Shaun Tuton (Kayden Jackson 80).
Subs not used: Craig Disley, James Berrett, Tom Bolarinwa, Andrew Boyce, Scott Vernon, Dean Henderson.
Bookings: Sheehan 43, Potts 62, Cook 75, Vose 78, Comley 88, McKeown 90, Jackson 90.
Attendance: 8,005 (539 Mariners).