Fleetwood Town can feel proud despite falling to a 2-0 pre-season defeat against Premier League side Burnley on Tuesday evening.
On a sunny evening on the Fylde Coast, it was the away side that took the lead just before the break through Ali Kioki. The ball bounced around Town’s penalty area following a shot, with the forward curling it in from close range.
You’d have to say Fleetwood started off the better side, they looked to get the ball on the floor, and on the odd occasions beat Burnley with the ball around the full-back, and with Wes Burns’ pace, it worked with a lot of affect.
Through that ball over the top, it was Burns who was the provider for Town’s latest signing Harry Souttar. The Stoke loanee rose the highest in the Clarets’ penalty area, guiding his header goal wards, but not trouble former England goalkeeper, Joe Hart.
Burns was lively and Burnley had their captain Tarkowski to thank for getting in the way of the Welshman’s close range effort. The only thing missing for the Cod Army was that opening goal.
Sean Dyche’s side nearly took the lead through Kioki, but the youngsters’ effort from a few yards out was skied over the crossbar. It was a huge let off Joey Barton and his men.
Burnley got the opening goal of the game a minute before half-time through Kioki. With a hint off offside, the forward played to the whistle and took his goal well inside the 18-yard box.
The visitors made nine changes at the break, with only Hart and Kevin Long surviving from the team that started the match at Highbury.
Town had the first opportunity of the second-half through Conor McAleny and when the lone striker made a run into the box, it was Lewie Coyle who picked him out with a lovely cross from the right wing. Another great chance for Fleetwood.
Despite the threats from Fleetwood, it was substitute Wood who scored in front of the travelling away fans from two yards out. A nice easy finish for the New Zealand international – who has now scored six goals in four games this pre-season.
Fleetwood did have the ball in the back of the net thanks to Josh Morris, but as the former Scunthorpe man turned around to celebrate, the lineman’s flag was up. It was great attacking build-up play by the home side.
Harvey Saunders had a great opportunity to score as a substitute – just like Woods earlier in the half – and this side it was a cross from the far side that was whipped into the six-yard box, only for Saunders to aim his header wide.
Souttar should have pulled one back for the Cod Army after Ash Hunter curled in a wicked ball into the box. With Hart coming off his goal line, it made the angle tight for the Australian international – who will probably look back at a missed opportunity to score.
Fleetwood ended the game well against Burnley, and with the chances they created, there will be plenty of positives looking ahead to the next match on Friday when Championship side Preston North End visit Highbury.
Fleetwood: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Andrew, Clarke, Souttar, Burns, Biggins, McAleny, Morris, Coutts ©, Rossiter.
Subs: Crellin (GK), Sheron, Southam-Hales, S. Morris, Rydel, Saunders, Mooney, Hunters, Boyle, Baggley.
Burnley XI: Hart (GK), Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski ©, Hendrick, Westwood, Rodriguez, Lennon, Vydra, Long, Kioki.
Subs used: Heaton (GK), Cork, Gudmundsson, Wood, Barnes, McNeil, Pieters, Bardsley, Legzdins, Harker, Glennon, Dunne, Benson.