Fleetwood Town edged a thrilling five goal game at Highbury as they overcame Bury 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Town led by two goals thanks to Jordy Hiwula, who missed a penalty at 0-0, before goals from Jermaine Beckford and Josh Laurent saw the game level at the break.
However, substitute Ashley Hunter won the game midway through the second half, but not after Beckford missed a 94th minute penalty in a game full of drama.
Uwe Rosler made one change to Saturday’s side who faced Oldham with Jack Sowerby making his first league appearance in the place of Bobby Grant.
The Shakers started brightly at Highbury and were unfortunate not to have taken the lead inside the opening five minutes as Beckford forced Alex Cairns to clear his dangerous ball into the area.
It was to be the hosts though who were gifted the chance to open the scoring as Amari’i Bell was brought down in the box by Tom Aldred after nice play from Dempsey on the right. It wasn’t to be though for Hiwula as he sent his penalty over the bar.
Town had another great chance to open the scoring soon after as Aiden O’Neill teed up Baily Cargill, but the Bournemouth loanee’s long distance hit sailed agonisingly over Joe Murphy’s net. Another nice counter attack saw Dempsey fire wide as Town began to dominate proceedings.
Hiwula was soon to make amends for his early penalty miss as Town took advantage of their domination. A neat link up between Sowerby and Lewie Coyle saw Coyle play a low cross into the six yard box, where Hiwula was waiting to prod the past Murphy.
Town looked good value for their lead and were two goals to the good just five minutes later as Hiwula doubled his, and Town’s tally. It was another smart break down the wing that led to the goal, Bell swinging in a pin point ball to Hiwula’s outstretched leg.
Bury were quick to react to the second goal, and found themselves back in the game just three minutes after the restart as Jermaine Beckford acrobatically volleyed past Cairns.
After a pulsating opening half an hour, play calmed and the contest became more physical as the game edged towards half time. However, the goal scoring was not yet finished, as Bury found an equaliser. After a corner wasn’t cleared, and after some head tennis in the area, Josh Laurent, who had come on as a substitute ten minutes earlier, headed past Cairns, despite the goalkeeper tipping the ball onto the post.
Into first half stoppage time, and Town continued to press. Sowerby’s cross into the box found Devante Cole, but Murphy miraculously kept the ball out, and brought the breathless first half to close.
The second period began with much the same intensity as the first, but this time, despite lack of chances, it was Bury who were the side with more possession.
Much against the run of play, it was Town who had the first big chance of the half, as Coyle whipped in a cross towards O’Neill, but the Australian’s header rattled the post. Straight up the other end, and it was Cairns who was forced into a save from Michael Smith after a quick break.
Saturday’s last-gasp hero Ashley Hunter was introduced by Uwe Rosler in place of O’Neill and was to be the man of the hour again as almost instantly he put Town ahead in the match. In a game of counter attacks, it was a move between Hiwula and Cole that saw the latter through on goal. With Cole’s one-on-one effort saved by Murphy, Hunter was first to the loose ball and rolled it into the net for 3-2.
It was very nearly 4-2 minutes later as Coyle, who had been brilliant on the right all evening, played a curling ball over to Hiwula, who headed wide.
There was no time to breathe before the Shakers began searching for another equaliser. Smith again tested Cairns with a looping header. Again the ball was soon in the opposing penalty area with Dempsey fizzing the palms of Murphy.
His smart free kick was then tipped over the bar as Town battled for a fourth.
Deep into injury time Bury were given the chance to equalise as the referee awarded a second, and contentious penalty. Beckford, just like his counterpart Hiwula in the first half, spurned his chance and Fleetwood held on for all three points.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Bell, O’Neill (Hunter), Eastham, Hiwula (Burns), Dempsey, Bolger ©, Sowerby (Glendon), Cargill, Cole.
Subs: Neal (GK), Pond, Godswill, Schwabl.
Bury XI: Murphy (GK), Maguire, Beckford ©, Williams (Leigh), Edwards, Aldred, Dobre (Cooney), Skarz, Smith, Ince, Bunn (Laurent).
Subs: Fasan (GK), Whitmore, Styles, Lowe.
Referee: D England
Attendance: 2535 (293 away)