Long and Ball on target to earn Town a point
Fleetwood Town added another point to their season’s tally after a thrilling draw against Charlton Athletic at Highbury Stadium.
Chris Long put Town ahead within five minutes of kick-off but it was equalled out by a goal from Josh Magennis. Just before the half, David Ball put away a spectacular effort to restore Town’s lead but Lee Novak pulled it back for the visitors three minutes from time.
Town made two changes to the side that faced Coventry City last week as Conor McLaughlin and Kyle Dempsey came in for Michael Duckworth and Eggert Jonsson. Charlton handed a debut to Fredrik Ulvestad whilst Novak was on the bench. Johnnie Jackson missed the game through injury.
The first shot on goal was from Kyle Dempsey who drove the ball from midfield and tried to release his shot early but the defender marking him did well and took the power off of the shot so Declan Rudd could collect.
Town opened the scoring just four minutes into the game as Chris Long found some space on the edge of the Charlton box, and took the shot early which seemed to catch Declan Rudd off guard.
Fleetwood carried on pressuring the Charlton defence as Devante Cole latched onto a cross from the left wing but his headed couldn’t be guided goal wards.
Grant had a similar attempt just four minutes later as he was found by a looping cross from the right wing but his header went just wide of the target.
Charlton’s first chance came in the 14th minute as Magennis turned Ashley Eastham but his left footed strike rolled well wide.
The game was then end-to-end until the half hour mark when Magennis evened up the game. Ricky Holmes provided the cross from the right and the winger jumped up and headed the ball into the bottom corner to make the game 1-1.
Town tried to gain their lead back instantly as Long tried a driven shot from inside the Charlton box in the 33rd minute, but the ball rolled just wide of Rudd’s left post.
Fleetwood eventually restored their lead in the 44th minute as good play from Cole won the ball back from the Charlton defence and Ball, who picked up the loose ball, and his chance from the edge of the box nestled into the top right corner.
The first chance of the second half came in the 48th minute as Holmes drove towards the Town defence but his angled shot went just wide of the post.
In the 55th minute, Town had their first chance of the half as Amari’i Bell passed the ball across the 18-yard line towards Cole but his first time shot flew straight over the bar.
Seven minutes later, Holmes found some space on the edge of the Fleetwood box, after breaking away from McLaughlin but the resulting 20-yard strike flew over the bar.
Charlton almost pulled the game back to even terms yet again as Fredrik Ulvestad curled a shot from just outside the box but it was inches wide.
Chris Neal’s reflexes were tested with fifteen minutes to go as a lobbed cross came in from Holmes and Neal just managed to get a fingertip to the ball but it dropped to Magennis who hit the ball into the side-netting.
Neal was tested again in the 81st minute as substitute Novak tried to chip Town’s ‘keeper but it was tipped over the bar for a corner.
Charlton equalised for the second time on the day with just three minutes to go. Fellow substitute Jordan Botaka did well on the wing to take on his marker, he passed the ball into Kevin Foley who provided the ball to Novak who tapped the ball in.
The final chance of the game fell to Fleetwood as Ball whipped in a corner towards the jumping Nathan Pond but his header flew well over the bar, leaving the game at 2-2.
FTFC: Chris Neal, Conor McLaughlin, Nathan Pond, Ashley Eastham, Amari’i Bell, Kyle Dempsey, Jimmy Ryan (Eggert Jonsson, 45’), Bobby Grant (Martyn Woolford, 78’), David Ball, Chris Long, Devante Cole (Ashley Hunter, 64’).
UNUSED SUBS: Alex Cairns, Cian Bolger, Victor Nirennold, Alex Jakubiak.
CCFC: Declan Rudd, Chris Solly, Ezri Konsa, Jason Pearce, Morgan Fox, Josh Magennis, Fredrik Ulvestad (Kevin Foley, 82’), Andrew Crofts, Ricky Holmes (Jordan Botaka, 82’), Ademola Lookman, Nicky Ajose (Lee Novak, 60’).
UNUSED SUBS: Patrick Bauer, Roger Johnson, Dillon Phillips, Harry Lennon.
REFEREE: Darren Handley (REF).
Ass. REFEREES: David Benton, Simon Clayton, Kelvin Sarsfield.