Fleetwood Town earned two points from Wednesday night’s Leasing.com Trophy group stage against Liverpool U21s, after winning a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.
The Cod Army led courtesy of Peter Clarke’s finish from a well-worked corner, before Nico Williams’ powerful strike from inside the area forced penalties after an even 90 minutes at Highbury.
Goalkeeper Matt Gilks saved two penalties to earn the extra point, which takes Joey Barton’s side to two points from as many group matches.
Barton named a youthful side for the match, with Gilks, Clarke, Ashley Eastham and Ashley Hunter also named in the starting line-up.
The match had a fairly even start to proceedings with both sides looking to attack. The first chance of the match came for the visitors though, as Tom Clayton did well to link up with Layton Stewart who found his low effort just wide of the near post.
Shortly after Fleetwood had their first attempt of the half through Harvey Saunders, as he rounded the goalkeeper following Hunter’s through ball, but the post stopped him from opening the scores. Certainly the best bit of play.
In terms of other chances in the opening half, they were few and far between, with both sides cancelling each other out in the final third.
The away side started the second half as threatened just over five minutes after the interval, with Tony Gallacher getting forward from left-back and shooting just past Gilks’ post.
Soon after, it was the home side to have half a chance. A monster of a throw from Gilks was latched onto by Hunter who had his sights on goal, but a last ditch tackle from Billy Koumetio stopped him from pulling the trigger.
With nothing between the two sides the deadlock was finally broken 15 minutes from time, as Peter Clarke tapped home after a good header down from Ashley Eastham following Baggley’s corner.
The goal opened the game massively, and from the kick-off Liverpool attacked the Fleetwood defence, a nice move which was finished off by Williams who slotted the ball into the corner of Gilks’ net.
Neither side were able to get a foothold in the final minutes, with both sides missing chances.
With the score equal at the end of the ninety minutes, the contest was concluded with a penalty shootout which Joey Barton’s side ran out 4-3 winners, after Gilks saved Tom Clayton’s penalty.
Fleetwood XI: Gilks (GK), Clarke, Eastham (c), Hunter (S.Morris 67), Sowerby (Matete 67), Sheron, Baggley, Saunders, Rydel, Mooney, Holgate (Garner 45)
Unused Subs: Cairns (GK), Hill, Johnston, Smith
Liverpool U21 XI: Winterbottom (GK), Gallacher, Clayton, Dixon-Bonner (c), Larouci, Williams, Boyle, Cain, Koumetio, Stewart, Hill
Unused Subs: Atherton (GK), Walls, Savage, Norris