Town lose out at Highbury Stadium
A goal in each half for Fleetwood was enough for Blues to fall to defeat this evening.
Town conceded early on through former loanee Callum Connolly, before Ged Garner netted in the second half to wrap up the win for the Cod Army.
Town made one enforced change from Saturday’s win over Plymouth with Cole Skuse coming in for the injured Flynn Downes.
Fleetwood skipper Connolly headed home into the bottom corner from James Hill’s long throw to give the hosts an early lead on nine minutes.
Wes Burns robbed Myles Kenlock inside Town’s half and fed Garner on the edge of the box, who saw his low strike whistle wide of the mark.
Town were struggling to create any openings of note. Just after the half hour mark, Gwion Edwards got to the byline and squared for Kayden Jackson who turned and shot from a tight angle but it trickled wide.
Fleetwood came close to doubling their advantage on the stroke of half time as Kyle Vassell linked up with the lively Garner, who controlled the ball and got a snap-shot away which Tomas Holy clutched beneath him to keep it at 1-0.
Edwards and Jordan Rossiter contested a crunching challenge just seconds before the half-time whistle which saw both players hobble off and Edwards booked. Josh Harrop replaced Edwards at the break who couldn’t continue.
Skuse slipped on the ball on halfway and Garner broke with the ball to slip in his strike partner Vassell, who shot high and wide from a narrowing angle after good work from Toto Nsiala.
Vassell and Garner caused Town problems all evening and they linked up to double the Cod Army’s lead. Vassell drove at the Town backline and played in Garner, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and arrowed the ball into the bottom corner.
The hosts continued to press forward. Burns got beyond Kenlock down the right flank and drove inside the box before seeing his low effort smothered by Holy.
Paul Cook made a triple change with Kenlock, Troy Parrott and Jackson replaced by Stephen Ward, Jack Lankester and Aaron Drinan respectively as Blues looked for an avenue back into the game.
Judge and Ward played a neat one-two down the left-hand side, the latter ventured into the penalty area drove a fierce volley which Alex Cairns tipped over the bar at his near post. From the resultant corner, Nsiala saw his towering header blocked at source.
Fleetwood substitute Harrison Biggins had a sweetly struck half-volley from the edge of the area saved by Holy, as Paul Cook made his final change with Skuse making way for Teddy Bishop with ten minutes left of the 90.
Late on, Judge drove forward and tried his luck from distance with a dipping effort which sailed wide of Cairns' far post.
Town piled on the pressure in injury time, this time, Dozzell's driving effort forced Cairns into a smart stop. Nsiala then climbed highest from Dozzell's corner at the far post but his header was brilliantly saved by Cairns. Defeat for Town this evening sees Blues slip to seventh in League One.
Booked: Edwards, Batty
Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew, Connolly (C), Burns, Rossiter (Biggings 79), Vassell, Finley (J. Morris 85), Batty, Garner (Saunders 90), Holgate, Hill.
Subs: Coleman, Duffy, Rydel, S. Morris.
Town: Holy, Chambers (C), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock (Ward 66), Dozzell, Skuse (Bishop 81), Edwards (Harrop 46), Parrott (Lankester 67), Judge, Jackson (Drinan 67).
Subs: Cornell, Bennetts.