Goals from Dan Mooney and Alex Dodd seal win over Wigan
Fleetwood Town’s U18’s side warmed up for Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup First Round match with Chester by defeating Wigan Athletic 3-2 at Poolfoot Farm.
Dan Mooney opened the scoring, before Wigan replied with two goals of their own. Alex Dodd levelled the match up and then Mooney got his second and his side’s third to complete the comeback with a super late finish.
The game started frantically with the ball in the back of the net after just five minutes. The Latics believing they had taken the lead only to be thwarted by the offside flag.
Only 90 seconds later, Fleetwood took the lead. Mooney took advantage of a sloppy pass from the away defence with a sharp interception before slotting the ball past the opposing keeper after rushing through one vs. one.
Unfortunately Fleetwood could not build upon the early impetus. It was clear that they were struggling to retain possession and began to try and force passes in frustration, which in turn led to an increase in confidence on the ball for the away side.
Despite grabbing the early goal, Wigan were level in the 15th minute. A short corner to the edge of the box was driven across goal and turned into the bottom corner from four yards out.
Rooney’s side struggled to stop the momentum the visitors had and they took the lead in the 23rd minute. A deflected cross caused confusion among the Fleetwood defenders allowing the ball to make its way to the back post where it was powerfully converted to give Wigan the advantage.
Wigan continued to dominate the first half but without creating any clear-cut chances, it meant Fleetwood had every chance of getting back into the game.
They nearly did just that directly before half time. Lewis Shorrock tried his luck with a fierce strike which flew just over the cross bar before Dan Mooney went even closer, his curling effort hit the cross bar before going out of play.
The second half stuttered its way to the hour mark with both teams rather scrappy in possession. Rooney made his first substitution replacing Connor Finlayson with Owen Bridge in an attempt to change proceedings into his favour.
This substitution had the intended impact with the lively Bridge involved early. A neat interchange with Dodd led to Bridge beating his man and delivering a brilliant ball into the box, which just had too much pace for both Garner and Mooney.
Fleetwood were flying forward with waves of attack and fluid attacking movements and with the Wigan keeper having been called into action on more than one occasion, it seemed only a matter of time before they found the net again.
Fleetwood bagged an equaliser shortly after in the 70th minute. Dodd chased a ball through which was spilled by the Wigan keeper allowing him to poke home from 10 yards.
Just two minutes later and Fleetwood took a deserved lead, a brilliant through ball from centre back Harrison Holgate was met by Dodd who squared the ball to the back post for the onrushing Mooney to slot home and pick up his second goal of the game.
The full time whistle was met with jubilation from Rooney and his young side who will feel they fully deserved the three points based on their second half performance.
Rooney spoke to us shortly after the final whistle: “I’m delighted for the lads, we were disappointed at half time in the way that we kept the ball but we knew we could improve, a few things were mentioned and singled out and we got our reward.
“I think anyone who watched the game will agree that we raised our levels significantly in the second half, and I think we fully deserved the three points in the end. Its great testament to the lads mentality to fight from behind again, it tested their character and we’re proud of their response to the situation.”
FTFC: Crellin, Kerrigan, Holgate, Unsworth, Abubakar, Shorrock (c), Garner, Dodd, Mooney (Bishop 90’), Collings, Finlayson (Bridge 60’). Unused Subs: Turner, McCarragher, Feeney