Development Squad coach Stephen Crainey is pleased with the effort shown by his players in their narrow loss to Burnley in the Lancashire FA Senior Cup but feels they could have done better in the final third.
Fleetwood played valiantly throughout their cup game against The Clarets and even though they managed to create chances through Jay Matete, Barry Baggley, and Ged Garner, they were unable to get a goal in the 90 minutes.
The game then went to a penalty shootout and Joe McGlynn stepped up first for the hosts and placed the ball past James Cottam. Laurence Smith and Harvey Saunders both had their penalties saved, with Olatunde Bayode scoring the winner for Burnley.
Here is what Crainey had to say after the defeat…
On the result…
“It’s not a nice way to go out a cup competition but I can’t fault the lads' effort, desire and hunger they showed as they tried to win the game in 90 minutes. I think when we got the ball in the final areas, we could have shown a little bit more composure but saying that there are lots of positives and things to work on in the coming weeks.
“They had a few corners and put us under the cosh a little bit, but I thought we dealt with it really and didn’t really look troubled with anything thrown at them. On the flip side, when we had that in the last ten minutes, and after a few attempts, I feel we were unlucky not to score off one.”
“The most pleasing aspect of the game for me is that we are competing against teams like that and seeing where the lads are at, at the same time. I thought we contained them well from start to finish - I can’t remember James Cottam having a save to make, other than collecting a few crosses, and that was a pleasing aspect. We had a lot of the ball at times and moved it around well, but it was just that bit of quality in the final third which eluded us today as we got into some great positions."
On the team’s performances during the 90 minutes…
“We were telling the lads before kick-off to express themselves against a good side and I think they all did that well. Jay Matete was brilliant bringing the ball forwards and was unlucky not to hit the target in the first half, and again unlucky in the second half as the keeper pushed his shot onto the post. I feel we just missed a little bit of composure in the final third but that will come in time. As long as the lads are learning, I am happy.
“We have a lot of attacking options in the side and when Michael Fowler and Shayden Morris came off the bench, I felt they positively impacted the game straight away and were probably unlucky not to contribute when they came on – they were brilliant.”
On the penalty shootout…
“On the one Saunders missed in the shootout, it is just an unbelievable save from the goalkeeper, Harvey couldn’t have struck it any better into the corner, but the keeper got it with his trailing hand. Credit to the keeper but Harvey shouldn’t get too down about missing it.
“Penalties are a lot to deal with, anyone can win and unfortunately, it wasn’t us today. Anyone can miss a penalty, the best players in the world miss them, it’s just how it goes sometimes. Cottam did really well to get a hand on the one he saved today - I thought he played really well today, especially with his goal kicks as it allowed us to come out the back throughout the game.”