Crawley Town 1-0 Fleetwood TownFleetwood Town were cruelly beaten 1-0 at Crawley Town as Izale McLeod’s finish 13 minutes from time proved the difference.
McLeod, a summer signing for John Gregory’s men, found himself in on goal and chipped over Chris Maxwell to clinch all three points.
Despite dominating most of the proceedings and creating a number of opportunities, the Cod Army were unable to find the finishing touch in West Sussex.
After slipping narrowly away at Oldham Athletic last weekend, Graham Alexander made a couple of changes to his side.
Conor McLaughlin returned to the team after international duty with Northern Ireland, while Matty Blair replaced Antoni Sarcevic in midfield.
Fleetwood started the stronger of the two sides and could have taken an early lead through Stephen Dobbie, but he could only head straight at Brian Jensen from a superb Matty Blair cross.
Jamie Proctor almost came back to haunt his former employers minutes later when he headed Dobbie’s dangerous left hand cross just over Jensen’s goal.
Gareth Evans was presented with a good opportunity midway through the first half, but he was unable to beat Jensen from a tight angle after being put through by Dobbie.
The Cod Army continued to force the issue, and went close through Proctor who fired over from the edge of the box after wriggling away from his marker.
Gregory’s side were limited to half chances with Luke Tomlin and Ryan Dickson both striking wide of Maxwell’s goal.
With the first half coming to a close, Proctor saw his long range strike hit the outside of the post, before Conor McLaughlin burst into the area and dragged a shot wide from a good position.
After the break, Steven Schumacher tried his luck from 25 yards and whistled an effort which went just wide with keeper Jensen scrambling.
Chances continued to fall for Fleetwood, and Dobbie was the next culprit guilty of squandering a good opportunity as he shot straight at Jensen at the back post.
A deflected effort from Jimmy Smith very nearly caught out Maxwell between the sticks, however the Welshman reacted well to make the save.
With 20 minutes remaining, manager Graham Alexander brought on David Ball to partner Proctor and Dobbie up-front.
And Ball very nearly made an instant impact when he was played in down the left, but curled his shot wide of Jensen’s far post.
Despite Fleetwood’s dominance, it was the home side who took the lead on 77 minutes through striker Izale McLeod.
McLeod got in behind the Town defence and expertly lifted the ball over the top of Maxwell for his third league goal of the campaign as Town suffered a cruel defeat.