Crewe Alex lost a lead as promotion-chasing Luton Town took another step towards League One on Saturday.
Jordan Bowery’s 13th goal of the season gave the Railwaymen an advantage, but they trailed 2-1 by the break as Danny Hylton and Elliot Lee hit back.
And Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu’s screamer soon after the restart made sure of the points for the Hatters who could seal automatic promotion in the next few days.
For the Alex it was a learning curve. They were able to compete with the home side on many fronts and would have scored more goals with more ruthless finishing to some good approach play.
But equally it was clear they have work to do to get among the front-runners next term, as they looked vulnerable at the back and were at times sloppy in possession as a packed Kenilworth Road started a promotion party.
The Hatters have one foot firmly in League One after they beat Crewe Alexandra at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, racking up a third successive victory.
Town had to do it the hard way once more, falling behind in the first half, but as they had against Mansfield, they did just that, Danny Hylton levelling, before Elliot Lee and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzy netted stunning strikes to secure the turnaround win.
Results elsewhere made it an even better afternoon's work, with leaders Accrington held by fourth-placed Exeter, while Lincoln's defeat to Port Vale, means the Hatters could be promoted in midweek, should the Grecians lose at home to Chesterfield.
Luton Town FC Official Website
The Hatters moved to within one win of being certain of automatic promotion with a third straight win this afternoon with goals from Danny Hylton, Elliot Lee and a first of the season from Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu sealing a 3-1 win over Crewe Alexandra.
As has become the norm at Kenilworth Road in recent weeks, Nathan Jones’ side had to come from behind, with Jordan Bowery putting the 17th-placed visitors in front against the run of play on 35 minutes.
But Hylton equalised with his 22nd of the season – and fifth in as many games – within four minutes, before Lee bent in his 12th of the campaign two minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Then, six minutes after the interval, Mpanzu hit an absolute corker into the top corner from 25 yards to effectively seal a win that could bring about promotion as early as Tuesday night, should Exeter lose at home to Chesterfield.
In reality, a draw down at St James Park would be enough for the Hatters to start planning for League One football bearing in mind the goal difference that is 25 better than the Grecians’.
Regardless of what goes on elsewhere, Jones and his Town squad have been going about their business in a thoroughly professional manner and, after a fourth win in five matches here, the same return at Carlisle next Saturday will seal promotion anyway.