Fleetwood crashed out of the Youth Alliance cup in a devastating defeat to Carlisle United
Fleetwood crashed out of the Youth Alliance cup in a devastating defeat to Carlisle United.
The young Cod Army fought back from behind three times throughout the contest, but could not find a final fifth goal to take the game to penalties.
Carlisle striker Craig Salmon found the net four times for the Cumbrian outfit, including the match winner with five minutes to go.
Salmon forced a fantastic save from Cod goalkeeper Oliver Martin early on, with a long range strike which he saw tipped around the post.
But from the resulting corner, Dillon Morse headed the home side in front at the second attempt, after Lanre Olapade had cleared one off the line in the 13th minute.
In double that time, Fleetwood responded with a well-taken equaliser on 26 minutes. Jake Parker linked up with Olapade on the Town right, before crossing for the high-rising Tom Peterson to head level.
Peterson should have scored a second less than a minute later, but volleyed wide from the knockdown by Michael Smith.
Kyle Dempsey almost sent Carlisle in ahead at half-time with a low drive past the left post, before the second-half began with a bang.
Cod captain Richard Wright fired the visitors in front two minutes after the break, when the ball fell kindly for him after a forceful run by England schoolboy’s youngster Smith.
But Carlisle hit back less than six minutes later, when Salmon’s left-foot strike squirmed under Town’s goalkeeper at his near post.
And Fleetwood went on to concede another soft goal only two minutes after, when a lack of communication between defender and goalkeeper allowed Salmon to easily head home.
The young Cod Army took barely a minute to rectify the error, when Carlisle goalkeeper Jordan Parker handled the ball outside his penalty area, before Max Cartwright scrambled home the resulting free kick by Parker.
But the pendulum swung in favour of the home side yet again in the 58th minute, when Salmon’s right-foot effort beat Martin at his near post.
Town midfielder Parker then made his third assist of the afternoon with 20 minutes to go, by putting the ball on a plate for (Max) Cartwright, who beat the keeper at his left-hand post to draw level once again.
Both teams created great opportunities to win the game in 90 minutes, but it was the Cumbrian side who stole the victory, as Salmon found himself unmarked at the far post in the 86th minute, and struck past Martin after being teed up by Dempsey.
The result sends Carlisle through to the Northern Section final, and spells the end of an impressive cup run by the Cod Army, who beat York, Preston and Wrexham on their way to the semi-finals.