15th May 2017

Mark Cullen netted a hat-trick as Blackpool edged out Luton Town in their play-off semi-final first leg at Bloomfield Road.

The 25-year-old gave the hosts the lead with a low strike against former club after 19 minutes.

Luton restored parity through Dan Potts and took lead moments later when Issac Vassell sweetly struck shot’s beat keeper Sam Slocombe.

But Cullen turned the screw once more scoring from 25 yards just after the break before adding his and Blackpool’s third from the spot.

Carlisle United were on target twice in two second-half minutes to salvage a draw in a six-goal thriller against Exeter City.

Joel Grant nodded the Grecians in front but Jordan Moore-Taylor turned a cross into his own net as the Cumbrians levelled.

Exeter regained the lead on the stroke of half-time through Ryan Harley and David Wheeler put gloss on the scoreline with a third.

The hosts pulled one back when John O’Sullivan’s overhit delivery floated in before Shaun Miller’s header completed the comeback.

Paul Tisdale’s side had two goals disallowed for dubious offside calls, and also hit the post in the dying embers of the contest.

Both second legs will take place on Thursday at Kenilworth Road and St James Park respectively. 

Meanwhile, Forest Green Rovers secured promotion to the EFL for the first time with a 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers in the Vanarama National League play-off final at Wembley.