Fleetwood Town took a share of the points on Saturday afternoon after a 1-1 at Highbury against Lancashire rivals Accrington Stanley.
Cian Bolger opened the scoring after heading the ball home from close range midway through the first half. Ash Hunter made it six assists for the season after his in swinging free-kick found the Irishman in the box.
Accrington levelled midway through the second half from creative midfielder Sean McConville, after his shot found its way through a crowd of bodies, and into the back of the net.
Town’s head coach Joey Barton made two changes to the side that started away at Sunderland last weekend. Craig Morgan and Ched Evans made way for Bolger and Chris Long.
It was a fairy even start to the match at Highbury with both teams looking to get the ball down, play through the lines and get at each other’s back four. Accrington looked threatening down the right flank with Jordan Clark whipping in two dangerous crosses into the box, both not being met by Billy Kee, Stanley’s one to watch.
Barton had to make a change to his side after 12 minutes. Conor McAleny took a knock after Nick Anderton brought the attacker down on the halfway line. Kyle Dempsey came on the pitch, replacing McAleny on the right hand side.
Long had Town’s best chance in the early exchanges when Hunter played the forward through in between the left back and the centre half and the on-rushing Ripley did really well to deny Long from making it two goals in two matches.
Clark went close on 25 minutes as from a corner, Town didn’t pick up the spare man on the edge of the box, and as the ball came to the winger, he struck it first time and made Alex Cairns pull off a really smart save. Attempts were coming at either end of the pitch.
Town took the lead through defender Bolger. Hunter whipped a free-kick in from the left wing after Husband was brought down outside the box. Hunter’s cross found Bolger, who did enough to flick it across goal and into the side netting.
The away side had a great chance to get back level just before the break when Kee found himself with his back towards the goal, and no Town players within five yards of him. Luckily for Town, the striker half volleyed the ball over the bar.
Fleetwood began the second-half on the front foot and with Hunter looking his energetic self, he was causing Accrington many problems with his trickery and pace. The 22-year-old came on to his favoured right foot, and put the ball on six pence for Long, who saw his shot at goal saved by the goalkeeper.
Cairns was put into action after Sam Finley found space on the edge of the penalty area. And after getting past Lewie Coyle, Finley had the goal at his mercy, but it was Cairns’ left boot that denied the midfielder.
Accrington levelled the scoring moments later when the ball found McConville 12 yards out from goal. The ball bounced inside Town’s box and it was the wide man who buried his chance past Cairns, right in front of the travelling Stanley supporters.
Cairns pulled off a magnificent save ten minutes before the final whistle after substitute Daniel Barlasser connected with the ball inside the 18-yard box. It was a good reaction save by Town’s number one, and a let off for the home team.
Town pressed for the winner with five minutes on the clock, but couldn’t they couldn’t pick out that final pass in the final third.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Holt, Eastham ©, McAleny (Dempsey 12’), Bolger, Long (Biggins 90’), Madden, Hunter, Marney (Wallace 67’), Husband.
Subs not used: P. Jones (GK), Spurr, Grant, Sheron.
Accrington XI: Ripley (GK), Johnson, Hughes, Iheikwe, Clark, Brown (Zanzala 61’), McConville, Finley, Anderton, Conneely © (Barlasser 61’), Kee
Subs not used: Maxted (GK), Richards-Everton, Hall, Sykes, Mingoia.