Young Cod Army edge seven goal thrillerFleetwood Town recorded their third straight win as they overcame Carlisle United in a thrilling encounter in the Youth Alliance League on Saturday.
Goals from Conor Smith, a double from defender Michael Muscat, and Shane Glean had given the Cod Army a four goal cushion, however three goals in the final eight minutes for the Cumbrians set up a tense finale.
The first chance of the game came after just a minute, when Town striker Louis Myers was put through on goal, however saw his effort thwarted by Carlisle keeper Tom Fowler.
And that effort was a sign of things to come as Fleetwood took the lead after six minutes courtesy of midfielder Smith.
Smith reacted first to a loose ball before drilling a right-footed effort which was only parried into the bottom corner by keeper Fowler.
The Cod Army then went close on two occasions; Smith and Glean seeing long range efforts skim over the bar as Craig Madden’s men started brightly.
Jonny Conway later glanced a header just wide from a corner in a game that the young Town side were dominating at that point.
The visitors’ first real chance came through Tom White, when he drilled a half volley just over the bar.
It would soon be 2-0 to the hosts when defender Muscat fired home from close range on the stroke of half time.
In somewhat of a goal mouth scramble, Myers nodded the ball back into the path of Muscat, who hit the ball into the bottom right corner on the half-volley.
As the second half commenced, Carlisle saw the first opportunity go their way, with Conor Hammill’s looping header comfortably saved by keeper Elliot Wynne.
Muscat would then have his second of the game on 55 minutes, as the captain swung a left boot at the ball which evaded a static Fowler.
It was four on the hour mark when Glean profited on a neat square ball from Michael Tetteh, before taking a touch and rifling the ball into Fowler’s far corner.
Carlisle’s comeback began to take shape after Town’s fourth, and they were awarded a penalty with 20 minutes remaining.
Jason Blackhorne coolly stepped up and converted his penalty into the right-hand corner and beyond the dive of Wynne.
Three minutes later, the Cumbrians found a quick-fire second goal, with Jack Elliot meeting White's teasing cross and heading the ball in off the crossbar.
The visitors later found a third goal with Jack Bradbury benefiting from some good build up play and firing home to set up a nervy finish.
Despite Carlisle's bombardment on the Cod Army goal late on, Fleetwood hung on to claim the victory in a dramatic encounter.