Fleetwood Town Under 18s maintain their unbeaten record in the Youth Alliance League, after they were held to a 0-0 draw against Carlisle United.
Town’s youngsters looked likely to earn all three points against The Cumbrians on Saturday, after having multiple chances go close in Carlisle. Captain James Hill’s header was cleared off the line before substitute Cian Hayes’ second half strike, which hit the crossbar, and his last-minute effort which forced a fingertip save from Regan Ward.
Coach Simon Wiles named an unchanged side after the 1-0 defeat to Rochdale in the Youth Alliance Cup last weekend, with Katlego Mashigo featuring in midfield alongside Anthony Williams and Jay Matete. Jamie Cooke made up an attacking trio alongside Shayden Morris and Sam O'Halleron.
Carlisle had the first chance of the game after Williams brought down Kyle Soper just outside Town’s area. The forward gave the ball to Taylor Charters, but his effort was blocked by the wall.
It was Fleetwood’s turn just a few minutes later as Williams found some space in the Carlisle half, but his shot from range went wide of Ward’s post.
In the 22nd minute, Charters made a clever run and was eventually brought down by Town defender Liam Goldsborough. He lobbed his free-kick into the box and went just wide of the far post.
Town then almost broke the deadlock as Matete delivered a brilliant cross into the box, Hill beat his man to force a powerful header towards goal and the ball crashed back down off the bar onto the goal line. Despite Town’s appeals that the ball went over, the referee ruled it to be no goal.
Carlisle’s best chance of the first half came to midfielder Cieron Carson after Town failed to clear the ball from danger. The ball fell to Kerr in the box, and he played in Carson, but his effort from close range went well over the bar.
In the 42nd minute, Carlisle worked the ball well when Jarrod Braithwaite drove from deep in midfield, played it into Brock on the left, his cross found Soper in the box, but Clayton recovered well.
Shortly before half time, Cooke was forced off through injury, and was replaced by Hayes, and he almost gave his side the lead shortly after half time. Matete received the ball on the right, he delivered a perfect cross into the box, Hayes guided the ball towards goal, but it crashed back off the crossbar.
Town then pushed forward when Williams found Morris in the box, and Ward diverted his low effort for a corner, from which O’Halleron had an opportunity, but his header went narrowly wide.
Ryan Rydel put in a resilient performance from left-back, and his quick run forward led to Morris receiving the ball 30 yards from goal, and his strike flew just over.
Carlisle applied pressure as they searched for a winner in the latter stages of the match. Kerr got on the end of Barnes’ cross, and his effort went just wide, but just a minute later he got the better of Hill, was clean through on goal, but Clayton denied him.
Carlisle then hit the bar when Galloway curled a wonderful free kick over the wall, with Clayton well beaten for the first time in the match, but it bounced back off the crossbar.
Town almost snatched the win late in the game when Rydel linked up well with Hayes and hit a powerful low strike towards the bottom corner, but Ward made a brilliant fingertip save.
The referee blew for full-time to confirm a goalless draw that made it three matches unbeaten for the Cod Army in the Youth Alliance League.
Town XI: Clayton (GK), Goldsborough, Hill (C), Bani, Rydel, Williams, Mashigo (Raffie 75’), Cooke (Hayes 43’), Matete, Morris, O’Halleron (Makepeace 75’).
Subs not used: Borwick, McCarragher.
Carlisle United XI: Ward (GK), Barnes, Carson, Lightfoot, Brock, Wilson, Branthwaite (Galloway 45’), Charters (Samms 60’), McCarron, Kerr, Soper (Birch 68’).
Subs not used: McLachlan, Kelly.