Fleetwood 1-2 York
York City scored an injury time winner to condemn Fleetwood Town to their first defeat of 2014 on a blustery afternoon at Highbury Stadium.
Wes Fletcher, assisted by substitute Michael Coulson, poked past Davies with York’s first effort in the second half to pick up their first win in four games.
Substitute, Mikael Mandron, had cancelled out Conor McLaughlin’s first half own goal 20 minutes before the end, but Fleetwood could not find that all important winner as Fletcher punished Town right at the death on a day where the wind dictated play.
In the build up to the game, manager Graham Alexander made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Scunthorpe United on Monday night.
Antoni Sarcevic came back into the team to make his first start since the 1-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge in place of the injured Alex Marrow, whilst Jon Parkin was restored up front in place of Mikael Mandron.
With Fleetwood playing against the wind in the first half, the visitors started the brighter. First Josh Carson firing a left footed effort against Mark Roberts before Adam Reed also saw his effort blocked by Town’s captain again within minutes of the games starting.
With blustery conditions dictating the contest and firmly against Fleetwood, which was typified by a long punt up field by Roberts that ended up going forward before coming back, York controlled the opening 20 minutes of the game without creating any noteworthy efforts.
York continued to use the conditions to their advantage and it was the Ministermen’s full back, Larne Oyebanjo, bursting forward from the back, who fashioned their next chance as he flashed an effort just wide of Scott Davies’ near post.
Fleetwood carved out the first opportunity of the game after 31 minutes after Jon Parkin curled an excellent pass round the back of the York defence into the feet of David Ball, but, from a tight angle, the striker saw his effort saved by Nick Pope.
With two minutes remaining, Town won a corner following some neat play by Parkin to find and Taylor and after York failed to clear, Pond stepped inside his defender but could only curl his effort wide with his left foot.
York were to make Fleetwood pay for that miss and take full advantage of the conditions to go into half time 1-0 to the good. A corner from the right came in from Preston loanee, Will Hayhurst, before the ball came off the back of McLaughlin’s head and into the back of the net.
Despite the wind being in Fleetwood’s sails for the second half, a mix up at the back nearly gifted York a second ten minutes after the restart. A long ball forward from the back caught out Roberts and Davies, who were under pressure from Fletcher, before Davies recovered to clear the ball to safety.
That warning sparked Town into life as they went close on two occasions to finding an equaliser – first through Goodall’s long range drive, which was tipped over by Pope, and from the resulting corner, Town forced another fine save from the keeper.
With just over an hour gone on the clock, Alexander made a double change – bringing on Junior Brown and Mikael Mandron – as they went in search of the elusive equaliser and Sarcevic had Town’s next opportunity as he lashed over from just outside the area.
With 20 minutes remaining, though, Town made their pressure count to level the game. After Sarcevic had been brought down on the near side, Goodall swept the resulting free kick into the area and after Parkin’s original effort was saved, Mandron followed into drive the loose ball past Pope to score his first goal for Fleetwood since joining on loan from Sunderland.
Fleetwood began to throw everything at the game, but the cross bar was next to deny Town as Ball’s firm header crashed off the upright from Brown’s corner before being cleared to safety.
Ball flashed an effort over in the dying embers of the game, but York were to have the final say as top goalscorer, Wes Fletcher, poked the ball past Davies with York’s first effort of the second half in injury time to consign Fleetwood to the first defeat of 2014.
FLEETWOOD TOWN: Davies, McLaughlin, Pond, Roberts ©, Taylor, Goodall, Murdoch (Mandron, 64), Schumacher (Brown, 64), Sarcevic, Parkin, Ball
SUBSTITUTES: Maxwell, Evans, Brown, Hogan, Cresswell, Jordan, Mandron
YORK CITY: Pope, Oyebanjo, Lowe, McCombe, Davies, Carson, Penn ©, Reed, Hayhurst (Coulson, 82), Fletcher, Bowman
SUBSTITUTES: Ingham, Coulson, McDonald, Platt, Allan, Dickinson, Puri