Fleetwood Town progressed in the Checkatrade Trophy after Jack Sowerby and Alex Reid scored in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Chesterfield at Highbury.
Sowerby scored his second goal in as many games in the competition with a low first half drive, before substitute Reid sealed the win late on.
Uwe Rosler made eight changes to the side that began Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup second round match against Hereford FC. Only three players kept their place from Saturday’s starting line-up, with Chris Neal, Ash Hunter and Baily Cargill keeping their places.
It was a decent start to the match for both sides, but it was Chesterfield who created the first clear-cut chance. Reece Mitchell did well on the left wing and delivered a great cross for Chris O’Grady, whose glancing header narrowly went past the far post.
Fleetwood took the lead through Sowerby after 17 minutes. The young midfielder made a great run through the Spireites defence before hitting a low driven shot past the Chesterfield goalkeeper Joe Anyon. A great start for Town.
Town nearly doubled their lead five minutes later. Aiden O’Neill’s through ball beat the offside trap, he unleashed Hunter but the striker’s shot bounced off the far post straight to Barry, who cleared the ball out for a corner.
The hosts caught Chesterfield on the break a number of times in the first half, and with quick thinking by captain Neal, Sowerby broke down the left wing, stretched the defensive line which left Hunter free in the middle of the park and after receiving the ball, his curling effort was well wide of the goal.
Jordy Hiwula went close to scoring after a well-worked move down the right flank. The Huddersfield Town loanee produced a moment of magic to beat Scott Wiseman, but his finish wasn’t there to top of a fantastic individual move.
Sowerby was involved in a lot of Town’s attacking threats in the first half and with a powerful run down the middle of the pitch, he twisted Barry inside out before hitting another low driven shot across goal. Give credit to Anyon who made a great save to deny Rosler’s men from going into the break two up.
Town kept putting pressure on Jack Lester’s team in their third and with a loose clearance; the ball fell to Markus Schwabl. The German’s first touch allowed him to line up the long-distance strike, however it went wide and that was the last action of the half.
Fleetwood got the second half under way and continued with their pressing and high tempo, which again caused Chesterfield problems early on without really creating any opportunities.
Hunter and Hiwula linked well up front and when the two combined after 51 minutes, it opened up space for Hunter to finesse one around Wiseman, despite a well hit effort, Anyon’s positioning made the save look very comfortable.
The head coach made changes on the hour mark and gave Alex Reid his first team debut after a successful loan spell at Wrexham. He scored four against Southport last week for the Development Squad at Poolfoot Farm.
Reid looked very lively when he came on, along with many other development squad players making an appearance.
Reid is a player who has pace to burn and we saw that with ten minutes left after a well-weighted ball by Maguire. The 22-year-old outpaced Wiseman and managed to get a toe on the ball, but again the Chesterfield goalkeeper was quick off his line to get a fingertip on the ball to direct it away from goal.
Reid caught Anyon on the follow through, and with Jack Lester having made all three substitutes, McGuire had to take the shirt and the gloves and play the last seven minutes in goals.
Maguire made a fantastic save moments later to his left-hand side after the Town striker out jumped Barry inside the six-yard box. He received a round of applause by the crowd.
He couldn’t keep a clean sheet as Reid pounced on a well-timed ball played by Hunter. The young striker took his time and showed composure inside the box to lift the ball over Maguire into the back of the net. That is his first competitive goal for the Cod Army.
Fleetwood are now through to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy after their 2-0 home win against Chesterfield, and are now unbeaten in seven matches at home in all competitions. The draw is on Friday at 3pm.
Fleetwood XI: Neal © (GK), O’Neill (Biggins 46’), Hiwula (Reid 64’), Maguire, Rodgers, Godswill, Hunter, Schwabl, Sowerby (Nirennold 58’), Sheron, Cargill.
Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Donohue, Higham, Kerrigan.
Chesterfield XI: Anyon (GK), Wiseman, Mitchell (Kellett 46’), O’Grady, Rowley, Dimaio (Dennis 80’), De Girolamo (Reed 46’), Maguire, Barry, Weir ©, Briggs.
Subs not used: Parkin (GK), Binnom-Williams, Hird, Wakefield,
Referee: Mr R Joyce
Attendance: 372 (42 away)