A young Fleetwood Town side fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Rochdale on Tuesday night in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Goals from Jordan Williams and Andrew Cannon either side of half-time saw Joey Barton’s side lose their second group stage match of the competition.
Barton started with Billy Crellin in goal, with Dan Mooney making his first start for the club in attack alongside Wes Burns and Chris Long.
After a quite opening 15 minutes, Rochdale took the lead. The visitors hit Town on the counter attack, with Williams firing past Crellin at his near post. Not the ideal start, with Keith Hill’s side scoring with their first clear cut chance.
Burns and Mooney almost combined for an equaliser just 60 seconds later, but the latter couldn’t turn home Wes’ near post cross.
Eddie Clarke was back in the team at left-back, and showed a glimpse of what he could do when he won a corner after a surging run at the Rochdale defence. After the corner was cleared, Burns forced Dale stopper Brendan Moore into a low save.
The real turning point in the match came in first half injury time. A loose pass from Moore in the Rochdale goal let in Long, whose shot was blocked off the line from Ntlhe. A big chance missed.
The game was sealed in the opening couple of minutes of the second half. Jason Holt played a stray pass inside his own penalty area, with Cannon latching onto the ball and beating Crellin to put the visitors two goals up.
Barton brought on Ged Garner and Ryan Rydel in the second half, with both youngsters holding their own under the Highbury lights.
It proved to be defeat in the end for the Cod Army, having now picked up one point from their opening two Checkatrade Trophy games.
Fleetwood XI: Crellin, Clarke, Holt, Burns, Dempsey, Long, G Jones, Morgan, Biggins, Sheron, Mooney.
Subs: P Jones, Eastham, Madden, Hunter, Garner, Rydel, Holgate.
Rochdale XI: Moore, Nthle, McGahey, Dooley, Williams, Done, Hart, Adshead, Cannon, Morley, Matheson.
Subs: Lillis, Rafferty, Williams, Rathbone, Clough, Hamzat, Yonsian.