Town suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Barnsley in Sky Bet League One, with goals from Kieffer Moore, Jacob Brown and substitute Mamadou Thiam sealing the win for the away side.
Head coach Joey Barton made six changes to the team that fell to a 1-0 defeat at Southend in their last outing, with Harrison Biggins, Tommy Spurr, James Husband, Wes Burns and new signings Ryan Taylor and Ross Wallace coming into the starting 11 in a much-changed Town side.
Fleetwood start off well and almost broke through on goal within the first few minutes when Burns dribbled with the ball and attempted to play in Wallace, but it was well intercepted by Ethan Pinnock on the edge of the box.
Barnsley threatened moments later when Alex Mowatt’s corner almost crept straight in at the near post – however Cairns blocked well to keep the score goalless.
Town took an early lead when Husband played in Burns down the left wing, and Harrison Biggins converted his pinpoint cross from six yards. Burns’ pace was causing the Barnsley back four all sorts of problems, and it was no surprise to see the Town winger so heavily involved in the opening goal.
Barnsley pushed for an equaliser and it wasn’t long until they found it when a long ball over the top beat the Town defence. Winger Jacob Brown bundled the ball past Cairns to equalise for the away side.
Town were then forced into a substitution when defender Tommy Spurr went off with a groin injury, with Cian Bolger replacing him in the heart of the defence.
The Yorkshire side then took the lead in the 41st minute when striker Kieffer Moore held off two Town defenders, and hit a venomous shot from the edge of the box, that flew straight into the bottom right corner. That goal literally turned the game on its head with half-time not too far away.
As the second half kicked off, Taylor put in a great delivery into the box, and it was met by Burns at the back post, who saw his looping header went just over the crossbar.
Tackles were flying in left, right and centre, and the fiery atmosphere on the pitch was replicated in the dugout, as the referee booked a member of the Barnsley coaching staff.
Town were still trailing, but they were well in the match and enjoyed the majority of possession. Chris Long and Kyle Dempsey replaced Jason Holt and Harrison Biggins as Town pushed for the all-important equaliser.
And it was Evans who almost found it for Town when his cross into the box caught a wicked deflection, and it was down to Barnsley’s goalkeeper Adam Davies to save well at his near post.
It was a scrappy second half of few clear-cut chances, but Moore almost got his second of the game when he struck one from distance. His shot was heading towards the far corner, but Cairns produced a smart save.
Barnsley sealed the win in added time when substitute Thiam burst forward on the counter-attack, and the forward was allowed to smashed the ball past Cairns at the near post, to secure the win for Daniel Stendel’s side.
It was a disappointing defeat for Town who slip to 11th in the League One table.
Fleetwood Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Spurr (Bolger 36’), Eastham ©, Husband, Taylor, Biggins (Dempsey 72’), Holt (Long 68’), Burns, Wallace, Evans.
Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Clarke, G. Jones, Sheron.
Barnsley XI: Davies (GK), Dougall, Pinnock, Moncur (Thiam 68’), Cavare, Jackson, Moore, Bahre (Adeboyejo 78’), Pinillos, Mowatt, Brown (McGeehan 88’).
Subs not used: Walton (GK), Lindsey, Hedges, Potts.