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YOUTH: Cup exit, heads high

20 November 2013

Dramatic 7-6 pen shoot-out

Rotherham United 1-1 Fleetwood Town (Rotherham win 7-6 after penalties.)
New York Stadium 

Fleetwood Youth Team have been eliminated from the F.A Youth Cup after a heart breaking penalty shootout defeat against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.

Jonathan Conway’s second half header was cancelled out by a Rotherham free kick and it was left to the hosts to keep their nerve from the spot and head into the 2nd round.

Fleetwood started the better of the two teams and had several early chances to take the lead. 

Firstly a Conor Smith corner was sent to the back post where Michael Muscat’s header was well saved by Rotherham keeper Charlie Bryan, and moments later the lively Keano Deacon rolled his effort wide after beating his man and cutting inside. 

Fleetwood were having the better of the chances in the opening 45 and the midfield 3 of Bromley, Lazenbury and Smith were controlling possession with the latter whistling his 25 yard effort inches wide after good play on the right by Willoughby and Williams.

Rotherham began to come into the game midway through the half however stern defending kept them at bay, goalkeeper Oliver Martin eventually collecting the ball mid-air after a spell of pressure.

Fleetwood continued to test the opposition keeper, both Lazenbury and Smith went close to breaking the deadlock but the sides went in at the break level. 

The second half started in contrast to the first with Rotherham in the ascendency and they could have easily taken the lead. 

First a lofted ball into the Town area found Connor Bell, the forward got between centre backs Barrett and Muscat however captain and goalkeeper Oliver Martin was on hand to charge the striker down and avert the ball to safety.

Shortly after an outstanding run by United’s number 10 saw him beat two men on the by-line before slamming his effort against the underside of the crossbar. 
This was a wakeup call for Town, who responded in perfect fashion.

A Fleetwood attack down the right resulted in a deep cross which missed everyone, however Willoughby chased It down to the corner flag before returning the ball into the area, where he found the unmarked Conway who headed back across goal to send the young codlings ahead.  

The lead was short-lived however as within minutes Michael Williamson’s quick free kick arrowed into the bottom corner to the fury of the Fleetwood players, clearly angered with keeper Oliver Martin still positioning his wall. 

Chances fell to both sides to win it in the remaining 15 minutes but the sides couldn’t be separated and the game went into extra time. 

The 30 minutes was interrupted with several players on both teams going down with cramp and in the final few seconds of extra time a Rotherham corner was headed back across goal only for the head of Matty Williams to deny the Millers a place in the 2nd round. 

And so after 120 minutes the sides still couldn’t be separated and it all came down to the lottery of the penalty shootout. 

Successful spot kicks were taken by Dom Barrett, keeper Oliver Martin, Jonny Conway, Oliver Crowley, Conor Smith and Matthew Williams however the cruel fate was left to Danny Vile who put his left footed effort just wide and led Rotherham to a 7-6 penalty shoot-out win.   

Fleetwood Team 
Oliver Martin, Matthew Williams, Dominic Barrett, Michael Muscat, Danny Vile, Robbie Bromley, Conor Smith, Jordan Lazenbury, Keano Deacon, Kurt Willoughby, Aden Wainwright. 
Liam Bleeker, Shane Glean, Jonny Conway, Oliver Crowley 

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