Fleetwood Town’s Development Squad left it late at local non-league side Squires Gate to score the equaliser in the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night at the pre-season friendly.
After what was a fairly even game, it was the hosts Squires Gate who got the first of the match after a mix up in the Town back line. Scott Pengelly went to clear the ball away from danger, but as he cleared the ball, it got blocked and managed to find it's way into the open net.
Town responded well and get their just rewards bang on 90 minutes. Midfielder Ged Garner got on the end of Kai Steer's cross, looping his header of the Gate keeper.
On the night it was a positive start for Stephen Crainey’s side as they got hold of the ball from the first whilst and made Squires Gate move side to side, waiting for that one opportunity to find the gap in the back line.
Squires Gate did have the first clear effort on goal. Their forward Egidi worked the ball well around the Fleetwood centre-half before finding time and space inside the penalty area. Harrison Holgate was the man to recover well and block the effort on target. An indication of the opponents quality.
Town created chances throughout the first half and a lot of that joy came down the right flank with Shayden Morris. The tricky winger twisted and turned his full-back inside box before looking for Harvey Saunders. Good defending by the Gate, who managed to clear the ball away from danger.
The home side nearly took the lead ten minutes before the interval. It was a 30-yard free-kick struck sweetly by their number 4, Charnley, whose arrowing shot at goal game young goalkeeper James Cottam some work to do between the sticks.
Straight from the set-piece, Town went on the counter attack and this time it was left back Liam Goldsborough who found himself in an unusual area on the pitch. The versatile defender got his shot on target, but made it easy for the Trialist keeper to make a safe. Great chance for Crainey’s men.
As the players went in for the half-time break. Town’s second eleven warmed up behind the goal, getting themselves ready for the last 45 minutes against their opponents.
And the second-half started well for Fleetwood, with Sam O’Halleron getting in behind the Gate back four, running to the byline before pulling it back to Ged Garner, whose effort was blocked by Davis six yards from goal.
Midfielder Jay Matete showed quality in the final third by breaking through, taking on a defender before pulling the trigger from range. His shot was saved brilliantly by the Gate keeper. Town were edging closer!
Gate scored with nine minutes left in the match. Pengelly received the ball back from Cooke, and as the keeper went to clear his lines, the trialist striker for the home side managed to block it, and direct the ball goal wards. A completely fluke goal you have to say.
Town left it let to score their only goal of the match and it was thanks to midfielder Garner. After patient build-up play down the right wing, it was Steer’s cross that found the on running Garner – who flicked his header over the keeper to make it one a piece at The Brian Addison Stadium.
A great test for Stephen’s Crainey’s side, and the positive will be that everybody got 45 minutes under their belt with no injuries. Roll onto the next game!
Squires Gate XI: Trialist (GK), Mullen, Higham, Charnley, Rossall, Davis, Trialist, Ing, Egidi, Boyd, Riley.
Subs: Turner, Burgess, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Town’s Starting XI: Cottam (GK), G. Jones ©, Holgate, Williams, Goldsborough, Smith, Johnston, Trialist, S. Morris, Saunders, Trialist.
Subs (Second XI): Pengelly (GK), Steer, Hill, Cooke, Rydel, Boyle, Trialist, Matete, Trialist, Garner, O’Halleron.