Moncur seals stunning Luton comeback win in stoppage time

Championship: Luton Town 2 Wigan Athletic 1

George Moncur fires home the late winner for Luton this afternoon
George Moncur fires home the late winner for Luton this afternoon

Wow. Just wow.

You think you've seen it all in this game and then afternoon's like today happen.

With three minutes to go, it looked like the Hatters were going to be sliding into the relegation zone, 2-1 down to fellow relegation rivals Wigan Athletic in front of an increasingly frustrated Kenilworth Road faithful.

Crucially, Town's players held their nerve though as fast forward a further five or so minutes and the home supporters were cheering off their heroes, as substitutes Callum McManaman and George Moncur both found the net to secure Town an absolutely vital and stunningly dramatic three points.

First, McManaman found the net against his former side in the 87th minute, firing home at the second attempt to pump wind into Luton's sails.

With the hosts then roared on by the now believing set of home fans, the roof was well and truly blown off shortly afterwards.

Moncur, in for his first appearance since late September, kept his cool to convert from close range, leading to scenes of utter jubilation in Kenilworth Road, not seen for some time.

Think Portsmouth at home last season, and then crank it up another few decibels or two.

Prior to all that madness, Luton chief Graeme Jones made just the one change after Saturday's horror show at Brentford, Luke Berry in for his first Championship start of the season, with Moncur on the bench, although the back four that had shipped seven remained in place.

Town should have led within five minutes, as Harry Cornick did well to tee up the overlapping Andrew Shinnie, who just couldn't keep his effort down, skying disappointingly over.

The Hatters should an impressive response to their thumping at Griffin Park in the early stages, as they looked to lay those demons to rest, Cornick escaping on the right, as he did time and time again, to find Ryan Tunnicliffe completely unmarked in the area.

His first goal for the club looked a certainty, with the slightly scuffed finish beating Jamie Jones, only to be cleared off the line by a superb intervention from the flying Dujon Sterling.

Dan Potts then dug out an excellent cross from the left which Cornick headed off target, but that was to prove the full back's last meaningful contribution of the afternoon, going down holding his groin with 20 minutes gone.

Luke Bolton came on, with James Bree swapping flanks, the on-loan Ipswich defender immediately outjumped by Chey Dunkley, whose header flashed inches past the post.

Play switched up the other end, with Town wasting another glorious chance as Berry's tantalising free kick was volleyed over by Matty Pearson.

Anthony Pilkiington tried his luck from 25 yards for Wigan, his effort looking destined for the corner, only to fall just wide.

The visitors then took the lead on 35 minutes with a brilliantly constructed goal from their right hand side, Sterling's cross hung up to the back post where Kieffer Moore rose superbly to bullet a header past Shea.

Moore almost had a second moments later, as Sterling once again found space on the right to deliver a dangerous cross, that he prodded narrowly wide.

After the break, Cornick couldn't quite turn Berry's low cross over the line, before Luton had a great opportunity on 50 minutes when Jones' clearance was straight to Berry whose vision found Collins, whose effort was parried by the recovering keeper.

Town should have had the lead when Cornick, somehow not deemed to have fouled his man on the wing, pulled an inviting cross for the advancing Tunnicliffe, whose shot lacked conviction, Jones fisting to safety.

The visitors remained a threat though, Gavin Massey's snapshot not missing by much, before Collins just couldn't get on the end of Pearson's long ball over the top.

Jones brought on Moncur to huge cheers from the home support, the midfielder getting his first league action since late September, while McManaman was introduced against his former side, a whisker away from levelling, beating two men before narrowly shooting past the post.

Then the fun started though, McManaman finally beating Jones from close range, after a big swing and a miss first, he kept his cool to find the net.

Town's players and fans now believed, and it was too much for Wigan defender Dunkley, shown red for his second booking when hauling back Cornick.

Moncur couldn't repeat his Pompey heroics from deadball situations, but it was open play that he managed to this time, as when the ball ran loose in the area, he was in the right place to send the old stadium into raptures and push Luton four points clear of the drop zone.

Hatters: James Shea, James Bree, Dan Potts (Luke Bolton 21), Matty Pearson, Sonny Bradley ©, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Andrew Shinnie (George Moncur 60) ,Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, Luke Berry (Callum McManaman 70), James Collins, Harry Cornick.

Subs not used: Simon Sluga, Lloyd Jones, Jacob Butterfield, Kazenga LuaLua.

Latics: Jamie Jones, Antonee Robinson, Lewis Macleod, Samy Morsy ©, Anthony Pilkington (Gavin Massey 55), Jamal Lowe, Joe Garner (Joe Gelhardt 64), Dujon Sterling, Charlie Mulgrew (Cedric Kipre 90), Kieffer Moore, Chey Dunkley.

Subs not used: Lee Evans, Josh Windass, Gary Roberts, Cedric Kipre, Daniel Gyollal.

Booked: Dunkley 48, Pilkington 54, Garner 61, Moncur 90.

Sent off: Dunkley 90.

Referee: Andrew Madley.

Attendance: 10,011 (667 Wigan).