Wigan 1-2 Luton: Adebayo nets stoppage-time winner for the Hatters
Elijah Adebayo scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Luton Town advanced to round four of the Emirates FA Cup with a 2-1 victory at Wigan Athletic.
Extra-time was on the cards after Cauley Woodrow quickly cancelled out Thelo Aasgaard’s second-half opener but Adebayo pounced from close range at the death.
Luton had started well and Woodrow got in behind after skipping past two defenders, only to scoop the ball well over the bar.
At the other end, Aasgaard suddenly found himself with time and space just inside the box, only to drag his effort well wide of the near post.
James Bree sent a free-kick over the top for Luton, before a scramble in the visiting box led to Jack Whatmough’s shot being blocked, before the ball was hacked clear.
Referee Matthew Donohue infuriated Wigan right on half-time when he prevented them playing on after a Luton foul, bringing the ball back for a free-kick, and then whistling as the set-piece hurtled towards the box.
If the first period was low on excitement and quality, the second half burst into life with two goals in the space of five minutes.
Within a minute of the restart, Luton half-cleared a Wigan throw-in, allowing Aasgaard – who scored a last-minute stunner to win the league game at Kenilworth Road in September – to volley into the top corner from 18 yards.
However, the response from Luton was excellent, and Woodrow equalised at the second attempt, after Ben Amos had done well to parry away his first effort.
There was a massive shout for a Wigan penalty after Max Power’s deep free-kick was nodded down into the path of Tom Naylor, who looked to be taken out as he tried to shoot, only for the referee to wave play on.
Luton remained dangerous though, and Alfie Doughty’s rocket was superbly blocked by Whatmough at full stretch.
The Hatters created an even better chance to win it moments later, with substitute Harry Cornick played in through the left channel.
Cornick slipped his shot past the advancing Amos, but the ball was cleared off the line by substitute James McClean in the nick of time.
As the clock ticked into the seven added minutes, Aasgaard had a chance from a similar distance to his goal, but this time sent it straight at Ethan Horvath.
Whatmough also saw a goalbound header diverted away by a visiting defender.
But there was to be one final twist, with the ball being played in from the Luton left and Adebayo firing home from close range to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.