Fleetwood Town’s Under 18s made it five straight wins to start their Youth Alliance League campaign, after overcoming fellow high-flyers Salford City 3-0 on Saturday.
Two penalties – one from Anthony Williams and the other from Barry Baggley – as well as a Cian Hayes strike in the second half secured all three points from Simon Wiles’ side at Poolfoot Farm.
The Cod Army youngsters went into the game against the league leaders having won every game since the beginning of the season, but were sitting lower in the table due to having played fewer games.
The match got off to a slow start, with the first chance coming from Baggley’s out-swinging free kick, which was headed over by striker Kian Makepeace.
After the first quarter of an hour, both sides were cancelling each other out, with Salford’s physicality evident. Salford did have a chance when Clayton Gorman found space to create a chance, but he shot just wide of Scott Pengelly’s goal.
Then it was Town’s turn to have a couple of chances. The first one came from Williams who found space to shoot at the goal but his effort was over the crossbar from outside the area.
Just past the half hour mark, Williams drove into the area and was fouled, presenting a great opportunity to open the scoring. Williams calmly dispatched the penalty to give the home side the lead going into the half-time break.
Town started off on front foot in the second half and looked like they would threaten their opponents more than they did in the first 45 minutes.
Hayes set off on a bursting run into the box, before getting a shot away which was met with a decent stop from Max Williams in the Salford goal.
Midway through the second half, there was a chance for the hosts to double their lead, again from the spot as Billy Batch was brought down by Jaden Timmis.
Baggley was the man to step up this time and calmly placed the spot kick to the keepers left to give Town some breathing space on the score line, 2-0.
With the hosts well in the ascendancy, Wiles’ side sealed the victory with a piece of magic.
Johnston picked the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and played a nice one-two with Sitole before the substitute set up Hayes who curled an excellent finish into the top corner.
A great goal and another great performance from the Under 18s, who travel to Rotherham United in the Youth Alliance Cup next weekend.