Kerrigan goal not enough for a point at Poolfoot Farm
Fleetwood Town’s Under 18’s were left to rue a slow start in either half as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Port Vale on Wednesday afternoon at Poolfoot Farm.
Town were stunned as they went two goals down in the first 12 minutes, but fought back well to reduce the deficit through Dom Kerrigan before half time.
The second half followed the same vein as the first, as the visitors grabbed a third in the 49th minute before soaking up long periods of Fleetwood pressure.
Dan Mooney missed a late penalty as Port Vale hung on to take all three points in the North-West Youth Alliance fixture.
Nathan Rooney’s side got off to the worst possible start, following a goalmouth scramble Tom Daulby pounced to prod the visitors into a 3rd minute lead.
Fleetwood responded well and went close in the 10th minute when Lewis Shorrock’s well-struck half volley went narrowly over the crossbar.
Seconds later the Port Vale lead was doubled. Charlie Warford’s low free kick evaded several outstretched boots before going all the way through to nestle in the far corner.
Once again Town reacted well to the setback, Alex Dodd drilled a ball across the face of goal but there was no touch to send it goalwards, before Mooney’s on target effort was deflected behind for a corner.
From that resulting corner Fleetwood found their way back into the game, Kerrigan diverted Gerard Garner’s cross beyond the goalkeeper, a smart finish from the full back after a near post run.
As Fleetwood pressed forward before the break, they were handed a warning as James Steele struck the bar following a rapid Port Vale counter attack.
Lewis Baines was introduced at half time for the home side, but just four minutes into the second period the visitors restored their two-goal lead, courtesy of Harry Benns who finished well from the edge of area.
Great work from Garner on the hour mark slipped in Mooney who saw his shot trickle inches wide, as the home side searched for a way back into the game.
In the 77th minute they thought they’d found it when Mooney was brought down in the penalty area, the forward got up to take the kick himself, but saw his effort saved down low to the goalkeepers left. A great save.
Fleetwood continued to dominate possession but were frustrated into long shots and hopeful balls by the away side, who held on to leave with a flattering victory.
Fleetwood: GK – Turner; Kerrigan, Holgate, Abubakar, Rydel; Shorrock, Dodd, Collins; Bishop, Garner (c), Mooney.
Subs: Crellin, Baines, Finlayson, Trialist.
Port Vale: GK – Crookwell; Ward, Warford, Calveley (c), Ryder, Fraser, Grimshaw, Steele, Daulby, Mottram, Benns.
Subs: Dennis, Slinn.