Defeat for Paul Murray in first match in charge
It was a classic game of two halves at Poolfoot Farm this afternoon as Town’s Development Squad lost 3-1 to Burnley.
Ashley Nadesan fired Fleetwood deservedly in-front three minutes before the break after great work from Keano Deacon, but that was as good as got in Paul Murray’s first game in charge of the side.
Second-half goals from a Trialist, Arlen Birch and Tinashe Chakwana flipped the game on its head and gave the Clarets youngsters the victory.
Fleetwood made the brighter start to the game. Keano Deacon and Spencer Myers linked up well on the left-wing but the latter’s low ball into the box found no takers.
On eight minutes Kieran Wallace made a lung bursting forward run before being felled around 25 yards from goal. The on-loan Sheffield United man took the resultant free-kick himself and his left-footed effort was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by the visitors’ stopper Connor Mitchell.
Just three minutes later the hosts had another dead-ball situation which threatened the Burnley goal. This time Myers was tripped on the left touchline and Trialist’s delivery, which in truth appeared to be an overhit cross, clipped the bar on its way out of play.
Fleetwood were clearly the more dominant of the sides in the opening exchanges, frequently playing nice flowing exchanges around the Clarets penalty area but without the incision to break the deadlock just yet.
Nadesan was lively throughout and on 19 minutes he chased a long-ball to tackle Mitchell on the Burnley by-line, but his cut back wasn’t quite right for any of Town’s onrushing midfielders to stroke home into the unguarded goal.
The visitors found a foothold in the game after the 20 minute mark. They had a brief spell of pressure in the Fleetwood half but after Deacon brought down a Burnley trialist on the right-touchline they couldn’t work the resultant free-kick into a menacing attempt at goal.
On the half-hour Nadesan picked up a loose ball in centre-field and made a surge through the Clarets back-line but his powerful shot was just off-target colliding with the side-netting.
Burnley had their best first-half effort on goal in the 32nd minute and it was as a result of a swift counter-attack. Freddy Yao and a trialist combined well on the right flank before the former found
Tinashe Chakwana then had the best sight of goal. He picked up the ball with his back to goal, then the number nine turned instinctively but found Town stopper Matt Urwin equal to his goalbound drive.
Fleetwood’s most likely route to goal seemed to be via at cutback from the by-line, and though Dion Charles found his effort brilliantly cut out by Jimmy Dunne, that was the way in which the hosts took the lead three minutes before the break.
A great turn of pace by Deacon, now on the right-wing after starting the game on the opposite side, allowed him the time to pick out Nadesan in the centre of the box. The striker’s first time finish took a slight deflection off Dunne but found the roof of the net and Town had a deserved advantage to take into the interval.
Three minutes into the second period came the game’s only notable flashpoint. After Deacon was adjudged to have fouled a visiting defender on the far side of the pitch a scuffle broke out involving several players from both sides. After a long chat with Deacon and Dunne, two of the main perpetrators in the melee, the referee decided to issue no cards but warn both management teams that any similar occurrences would lead to disciplinary action.
Burnley drew level eleven minutes into the second half. A trialist cut inside Myers and fired low and hard beyond Urwin who was rooted to the spot.
Whatever had been said to the Clarets at half-time was clearly doing the trick as it was now the visitors very much in the ascendancy. A trialist and Brad Jackson linked up well but Joe Davis managed to clear well for a Burnley corner.
The respite proved to be only temporary for Town however as Jackson’s flag-kick was headed past Urwin by Arlen Birch.
Fleetwood gained a semblance of control twenty minutes into the second period, Deacon cut inside his marker and attempted a quick interchange of passes with Wallace but the pass was marginally over hit before a trialist fired a free-kick low into Mitchell’s arms.
A trialist made a positive introduction to the game for Town after being brought on by Paul Murray, only a crucial block by Taofiq Olomwewe stopped his curling effort from landing inside of the post as Fleetwood did have a spell of pressure on the visitor’s goal.
With a quarter of an hour remaining Burnley sealed the victory. Jackson skipped his way to the by-line before having the composure to stand a cross up to the far post where Chakwana volleyed home acrobatically to extend the Clarets advantage.
Although substitutions littered the closing stages, Town were spreading the ball around nicely but lacking the cutting edge needed to get back into the match. A trialist, Nadesan and then Wallace all turned down good shooting opportunities before the attack broke down.
In the final minute Fleetwood passed up a great chance to reduce the arrears. Elliot Osborne pulled the ball back from the right wing perfectly for Wallace but Mitchell thwarted the midfielder with a diving stop from point-blank range and the match ended in a frustrating two-goal defeat for Town.
In the first half they were by some margin the better side, a one-goal lead the least they deserved but failure to choose the right options going forward coupled with the clinical nature of the visitors led to defeat in Paul Murray’s first game in charge.
FTFC: Urwin, Kerrigan, Myers, Trialist, Trialist, Davis, Charles, Wallace, Nadesan, Dunbar, Deacon
Burnley: Mitchell, Birch, Dunne, Olomewewe, Koiki, Jackson, Trialist, Trialist, Yao, Thomas, Chakwana