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Youth team: Half season report

30 December 2014

A recap of the youth team's start to the season

With the curtain closing on the first half of the 2014/15 Youth Alliance League season, it has already been a memorable campaign for Fleetwood Town’s youth team.

Craig Madden’s side have enjoyed a respectable start to their league season, which has also included a historic FA Youth Cup run, to the third round stage of the competition.

Following an opening day defeat at Shrewsbury Town, the Cod Army recorded their first league win of the season away at Accrington Stanley, with goals from Jonny Conway and Louis Myers securing maximum points.

Town’s short-term fortunes seemed to take somewhat of a dip following the win at Stanley, and they had to wait until the 18th October for their next win, which came in a 3-2 victory over neighbours, Morecambe.

Louis Myers had given the Cod Army the lead in first half stoppage time, before quick-fire goals at the start of the second half from Adam Reynolds and Cameron Rigby gave the visitors the advantage.

Michael Muscat then equalised on the hour with a header, before Myers found his second of the game late on to win the game for Town.

A few days later, Fleetwood advanced to the second round of the FA Youth Cup following a 1-0 win over Accrington at Highbury.

Liam Wood’s stunning finish in the 59th minute was enough to send Fleetwood into the hat, in what was to be the start of a historic adventure for Madden’s side.

Having scored the winner, Wood then stated his delight to the club website: "I'm delighted to get my name on the score-sheet. It's a special day and I'm just glad that it was capped off with a win.

"To score the winning goal and to send Fleetwood Town through to the next round is truly amazing. It's the best feeling in the world and I am delighted, we fully deserved it."

Fleetwood were rewarded with a tie against Sheffield United in the second round, which would be played at Highbury in the middle of November.

Town continued their fine form with a 4-3 victory over Carlisle United the following Saturday.

Goals from Conor Smith, a double from defender Muscat, and Shane Glean had given the Cod Army a four goal cushion.

However, the Cumbrians grabbed a quick-fire trio of goals, with Jason Blackhorne’s penalty, and goals from Jake Elliot and Jack Bradbury to set up a tense finish.

Coach Mark Bowley revealed his delight after the win: "In the first half the lads did exceptionally well and it was a well-earned victory in the end, despite the nervy end to it."

It was four wins from four the following week, with a Myers double securing a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers.

Town secured a place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup later that month, following a 3-1 win against the Blades.

Despite trailing to a Dominic Calvert-Lewis strike, Fleetwood roared back in style, with Glean, Myers and Jordan Hancox securing a third round tie away at Premier League Sunderland.

After the win, Steve Carlin, a Sunderland supporter himself, was ecstatic with the team’s performance.

“I thought the boys were outstanding. Their heart, their desire, their strength, the way they passed the ball on Highbury was just a pleasure to watch.

“They wanted everything more than Sheffield United, and just the way they played was fantastic tonight.”

A month later, Fleetwood travelled up to the North East to take on Sunderland in the third round, and despite a 4-0 defeat it was still a proud and historic night for the Club.

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