Fleetwood Town made it through to the last 16 of the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday night after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Everton U21s.
Danny Andrew’s second minute strike as well as goals from Paul Coutts, substitute Paddy Madden and Wes Burns secured a safe passage for Joey Barton’s side, under the lights at Goodison Park.
It proved to be a thoroughly professional performance from the Cod Army, with the end result never in doubt, with goalkeeper Billy Crellin keeping a second clean sheet in three games.
Fleetwood could not have wished for a brighter start, and went ahead inside two minutes, through an Andrew strike, from the edge of the box after Coutts picked him out from a corner. The defender volleyed in to set the tone for a bright evening on Merseyside.
Minutes later, the home side had a half chance of their own, as a good run by Dennis Adeniran ended with Anthony Gordon, who’s touch went out for a goal kick.
The Cod Army could have been celebrating a second goal just shy of the quarter of an hour mark, after Ched Evans headed over from an Andrew free-kick. A decent chance.
The home side responded well to going behind, and tried to put the visitors under pressure in the middle of the park, enjoying possession high up the pitch.
Everton had another chance to respond shortly after, with striker Oumar Niasse, as he found an opportunity to strike, but his shot was watched wide by Crellin.
Just before half an hour, Andrew had a chance for his second, from a free-kick, as he drilled a ball goal bound which deflected off the wall and just wide of the wrong-footed Harry Tyrer.
The last action of a scrappy first period involved Andrew and Ashley Hunter, who linked up well, before the 24-year-old drilled in a low ball which Tyrer was able to collect.
The second half began in the same manner as the first, with Town on the front foot and the hosts weathering a storm from the men in red, who enjoyed the majority of possession.
Burns found space to run past Ryan Astley before he dug out a cross before Lewis Gibson cleared the danger.
Not long after, Town looked dangerous from a free-kick again, this time it was Andrew’s ball in, before Tyrer plucked the ball out of mid-air, under some pressure from Evans.
Next, it was Everton’s Evans who had a chance from a free kick, but the youngster sent his free-kick onto the post and then wide of Crellin’s far post.
Fifteen minutes from time, the result was safe for the visitors, after a fierce low strike from captain Coutts to push the game beyond any doubt. A finish and a first goal for the Cods.
Soon after, it was three for the Cod Army with a good attacking move finished by substitute, Madden who rounded Tyrer before firing into the top right corner of the net.
Burns added to the rout as he finished well from Lewie Coyle’s through ball, it what was a quality final goal for Barton’s side.
Fleetwood now turn their attention to the FA Cup this weekend, with a trip to Sky Bet League Two Crawley Town on Sunday.
Everton U21 XI: Tyrer (GK), Niasse, Bannigme (Onyango 42’) (Charsley 70’), Adeniran, Gibson (C), Astley, Foulds, Evans, Gordon, Markelo, Ouzounidis.
Subs not used: Hansen (GK), Denny, Mampala, Simms, Anderson.
Town XI: Crellin, Coyle, Andrew, Clarke, Burns, Evans (Madden 77’), McAleny (Dempsey 61’), Dunne, Coutts (C), Hunter (Morris 61’), Sowerby.
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Souttar, Southam-Hales, Sheron