Fleetwood Town fell to a 2-1 defeat against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium on Good Friday.
A goal either side of the break for the hosts saw them earn three crucial points for their season in the sunshine of Cambridgeshire as Jack Lankester’s effort early on was added to by Sam Smith from the spot – Junior Quitirna added some life into the fixture late on, but a comeback wasn’t meant to be.
It wasn’t the start the Cods would have hoped for away from home as the Yellows found themselves in the lead with the first chance of the game. Lankester picked up the ball on the edge of the Town area three minutes in, turned towards goal and curled his effort into the far corner past Jay Lynch.
An instant comeback was almost on the cards for Scott Brown’s men as Jack Marriott was through on goal and almost managed to lob the rushing, Dimitar Mitov. Soon after Phoenix Patterson found Brendan Wiredu from a corner on the near side, but his header was swiftly blocked and cleared.
The last action of the first quarter-hour fell to the hosts as Toto Nsiala was unable to get the ball away after consecutive headers, with the failed clearance finding the feet of Harvey Knibbs, whose effort is cleverly blocked by Josh Earl from inside the six-yard box.
In what was a game of few clear chances, Town forward Jayden Stockley will have felt hard done by in the 20th minute as he leapt highest to get on the end of Patterson’s free-kick from the left, but he was denied by a diving Mitov between the Cambridge sticks.
Before the break, both Marriott and Shaun Rooney had efforts on goal, with the latter coming the closest as he jumped well and nodded another Patterson delivery towards goal, with the header going just millimetres wide of the target, to the relief of the supporters in the Abbey Stadium.
Half-chances for Conor McGrandles and Paul Digby kicked off the second half, but it wasn’t until the 51st minute when a shot on target was registered as James Brophy cut onto his left foot and unleashed a strike from 20-yards, which was an easy enough save for Lynch in the Town goal.
A penalty was awarded to the home side just before the hour mark, which angered the Town players and staff, but their appeals wouldn’t matter as Smith stepped up to the spot and fired into the bottom right corner and doubled Cambridge’s lead in the game to 2-0.
Goalkeeper Lynch was called into action with 20 minutes to go and it was a brilliant save to stop the Yellows from going three goals to the good. The eyes of Lankester lit up on the edge of the Town box and he drilled an effort low, towards goal, but Town’s number 13 got down quickly to deny him.
A comeback was on for Fleetwood late on as debutant Quitirna managed to nod home a corner with nine minutes to go, but it was a bit too late to salvage a point on the road as the score finished 2-1 at the Abbey Stadium.
Yellows XI: Mitov (GK), Digby (C), Jones, Brophy (Morrison 88’), Smith (Ironside 88’), Dunk (Seddon 88’), Lankester (Okenabirhie 79’), R.Bennett, McGrandles, Knibbs (Tracey 66’), L.Bennett.
Unused subs: Mannion (GK), Worman.
Town XI: Lynch (GK), Wiredu, Vela (C), Stockley, Marriott, Warrington (Batty 63’), Nsiala, Patterson (Quitirna 74’), Rooney, Macadam (Hayes 63’), Earl.
Unused subs: McMullan (GK), Ndaba, Johnston, White.