Fleetwood Town slipped to a first defeat in this season’s Central League Cup as they lost 3-2 at Macclesfield Town on Tuesday afternoon.
Goals from Harrison Biggins and Kyle Dempsey saw the Cod Army level going into the last 20 minutes, in a competition where Town recorded victories against Morecambe and Huddersfield Town earlier in the year.
Scott Wilson, Jordan Ponticelli and Peter Vicenti got the goals for the hosts at Moss Rose, in a largely even game which was separated was a stunning free-kick from Vicenti.
Coach Stephen Crainey named a mixture of youth and experience in his side. Dempey, Biggins and Chris Long were amongst the starting 11, with Harrison Holgate captaining the side.
The game started at a lightning pace, with Macclesfield having the first chance. Jared Hodgkiss’ low cross was spilled by Billy Crellin, who then did well to prevent it going over the line. From the resulting counter attack, Ged Garner headed Holgate’s cross onto the post. End-to-end start.
Dempsey then played a quick free-kick forward, with the onrushing Biggins flashing an effort past the post from inside the area.
Then midway through the first half, Fleetwood had the goal they deserved. Garner swung a corner into the six yard box, and there was Biggins unmarked to nod past Silkmen keeper Ben Parkinson.
The match was fairly even until seven minutes before the break, when Vicenti’s header was blocked on the line by Ryan Rydel. The referee adjudged that Rydel used his hand, and a penalty was given. Scott Wilson stepped up and sent Crellin the wrong way. All square at half-time.
It took just four minutes of the second half for Macclesfield to take the lead. Jordan Ponticelli acrobatically met Koby Arthur’s cross and left Crellin with no chance in the Cod Army goal. A special strike.
Dempsey then arguably matched this with a rocket from 25 yards. He picked the ball up from deep and unleashed a great strike past the helpless Parkinson. We were back level once again.
However it was to be Vicenti who had the final word. James Hill was perhaps harshly punished for a foul on Wilson, with the former Rochdale man stepping up and bending an effort into the top corner.
Town will have to wait to see if they have qualified for the last four of the competition, with Morecambe and Huddersfield set to play each other on Tuesday afternoon.
Macclesfield: Parkinson, Hodgkiss, Grimes, Welch-Hayes, Maycock, Vicenti, Arthur, Wilson, Blissett, Ponticelli, Dolling. Subs: Nolan, Jordan, Holden, Sass, Napa.
Fleetwood: Crellin, Holgate, Hill, Baines, Rydel; G Jones, Biggins, Dempsey, Matete; Garner, Long. Subs: Clayton (GK), Djabi, Johnston, Williams, Morris.