Fleetwood Town have reached the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup after beating League Two side Crawley Town 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.
In a first half that Fleetwood edged, Josh Morris opened the scoring with a fine finish from an acute angle, but just before half-time the home side equalised through Ollie Palmer who finished well past Billy Crellin.
Super sub Paddy Madden sealed the win with a close range effort after confusion in the Crawley back line, and now Town are in the hat for Monday’s draw where the Premier League and Championship sides enter.
Crawley started off well and worked the ball well inside Town’s half when until they won themselves a free-kick, which was eventually whipped into the danger area but cleared away by Danny Andrew.
In a very different atmosphere compared to the first round tie at Barnet, the home fans were pushing their side forward, and with former Town man Ashley Nadesan breaking with pace, they had hope, but like earlier in the match, the ball was well defended by the Cod Army.
Fleetwood looked to grow into the game and when Wes Burns beat his man on the right hand side, he broke into the penalty area, however he couldn’t pick out a teammate – who if the ball had reached them, had a tap in to open the scoring.
Moments later, Burns got to the ball before his defender and his looping cross looked bound for Morris inside the 18-yard box, but Tom Dallison beat the former Scunthorpe United man to the ball.
The visitors really dominated in all area and really frustrated the home team, and the home faith in the stands and the only aspect that was missing was the first goal of the match.
Morris did however open the scoring minutes before the half-time interval. After Burns whipped in the ball into the box, Ched Evans knocked the ball onto Morris who calmly placed his shot under the goalkeeper – to make it eight for the season for the midfielder.
However, the drama wasn’t over in the first half as Palmer equalised three minutes later with a fine finish after the flicked on ball found the striker inside the box to finish the move off nicely. The teams entered the break level.
As the second-half began, it was Town who had the first opportunity of the half with Kyle Dempsey’s left footed shot. The midfielder picked up the loose ball on the edge of the box before pulling the trigger – only to see hit rise over Glenn Morris’ crossbar.
Palmer thought he had doubled his tally as well as put his side ahead of the first time in the match. After Reece Grego-Cox did well to beat Andrew on the far side, he found his forward whose strike at goal was blocked by Ashley Eastham – a superb last ditch challenge!
Boss Joey Barton made his first change after the hour mark with Madden replacing Burns, and within minutes he had put the Cod Army ahead for the second time in the match in typical Madden style. The ball did look to have crossed the line before the Irishman prodded it home.
The home side didn’t let that goal effect them and when Palmer broke down the right flank, he looked for the far corner, but could only pull his shot wide. Was there going to be a second equaliser in the game?
Town did have two chances to extend their lead with Madden latching onto a loose ball out from the keeper, but failed to hit the target. And then Evans’ with a header which was guided wide after Paul Coutts’ out-swinging corner reached the Welshman.
Madden nearly scored his second after Dempsey’s low cross was met by the forward, but his glancing header went agonizingly wide of the inside post.
Barton’s side saw out the remainder of the game out with Crawley pushing hard for an equaliser, but they are now in the hat for the draw which will take place on Monday at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Now Town have a Fylde Coast derby match to prepare for with Blackpool their next opponents in Sky Bet League One at Bloomfield Road next Saturday.
Crawley XI: Morris (GK), Young, Dallison, Grego-Cox, Palmer, Nadesan, Francomb (Ferguson 81’), Sesay (Doherty , Tunnicliffe, Bulman ©, Lubala.
Subs not used: Luyambula (GK), Camara, Sendles-White, Nathaniel-George, Bloomfield.
Town XI: Crellin (GK), Coyle, Souttar, Eastham, Andrew, Sowerby, Coutts ©, Dempsey, Morris, Burns (Madden 64’), Evans (Garner 90’).
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Clarke, McAleny, Hunter, Biggins.