Fleetwood Town battled hard but narrowly lost 2-1 to a strong Karlsruher side in our first pre-season friendly of the tour of Austria.
Devante Cole headed Town back into the game midway through the first half after two early goals from Hofmann and Bulow, but the German side hung on for the victory.
Uwe Rosler started with new signings Lewie Coyle – fresh from his winning goal against Queen of the South last Friday – Conor McAleny and Harvey Rodgers, with Joe Maguire also starting at left back.
Despite the early setbacks Town were constantly on the front foot thanks to good work in central midfield from Kyle Dempsey and George Glendon.
McAleny beat two men down the left hand side and had a shot blocked. From the resulting corner Glendon’s delivery was nodded down by Ash Eastham and Cole turned it home from close range. A welcome reward for the Cod Army who asked a lot of questions in the first half.
Bobby Grant linked up well with Coyle on a couple of occasions down the right, with the on-loan Leeds defender Coyle unlucky not to tee Cole up for a second.
The half-time break saw the introduction of Ash Hunter and Wes Burns in place of Grant and McAleny.
Both looked sharp alongside Cole up front, with head coach Rosler also making a host of changes just after the hour mark with the majority of his travelling squad getting vital minutes on the pitch.
A driving run by substitute Jack Sowerby set the tone for a dangerous attack, but Hunter couldn’t latch onto the final pass.
Hunter was withdrawn late on, with Ashley Nadesan coming on. Nadesan was straight into the action and had Town’s best chance to level the game after rounding the keeper, yet his effort was brilliantly cleared off the line by a heroic Karlsruher defender.
Town are back in action against FK Jablonec on Saturday in Kossen.