After a poor first half performance in which they were lucky to be drawing 1-1 Grimsby got their noses in front on 58 minutes only to be denied in sickening fashion.
The Mariners got off to the best possible start with striker Peter Bore scoring inside the first minute for the second successive home game.
But Luton hit back strongly and levelled from the spot on 23 minutes. Grimsby keeper Phil Barnes brought down lively striker Tommy Craddock who got up and beat him from the spot.
Then they ought to have had a second penalty shortly after when Grimsby skipper Matt Heywood clearly brought down Craddock in the box.
But it was a different story in the second half when Grimsby got on top and took the lead from a Peter Till free kick.
Central defender Ryan Bennett headed in his second goal for the club and it was the first time this season that Grimsby had scored twice in a league game.
That should have been enough to gain that elusive victory, the last one being at Mansfield in March.
But Luton dug in and 16-year-old Jordan Patrick came off the subs bench to make a telling contribution. The youngster threaded a ball through for Craddock to drill a fine left-footer past Barnes.
Grimsby now have to wait until Friday to try again for another shot at victory, with Bradford City the visitors. Luton are next in action on Saturday with a difficult looking away fixture at Bury.