Fleetwood Town had to settle for a point on Saturday, after drawing 3-3 at Southend United.
First half goals from Jimmy Dunne and Josh Morris saw Joey Barton’s side leading 2-1 at the break after Stephen McLaughlin opened the scoring for the hosts.
Stephen Humphrys scored straight after the restart, before Kyle Dempsey regained the lead for the Cod Army, only until Humphrys got his second with just a couple of minutes remaining.
As we see on a weekly basis, it was Fleetwood who started the better of the two sides. Paddy Madden forced a decent save from Southend keeper Mark Oxley from Danny Andrew’s quick free-kick, but the linesman had his flag up for offside shortly after.
Despite Town’s dominance in possession and chances, the first goal of the game came from the hosts. After Humphrys was fouled on the edge of the box – McLaughlin stepped up and curled one around the wall into the back of the net.
Gary Waddock’s side could have been two up moments later. Isaac Hutchinson drilled the ball across the six yard box and with McLaughlin there to tap the ball home for his second. However, the forward failed to convert his chance from two yards out.
After working the ball well, Dempsey drove forward to eventually pick out Wes Burns. The Welshman played in midfielder Jordan Rossiter who shot first time over the bar. A decent position not taken advantage of.
McLaughlin was involved in most of the home sides attacking plays, and when the ball fell to the goal scorer on the edge of the box, he tried his luck with a thunderous effort towards goal. Peter Clarke blocked well with the shot arrowing on its intended target.
Matt Gilks was called into action this time when Humphrys found himself one on one with the keeper. With the shot being low driven across the goal, the former Scottish international made a great save with his feet.
Town equalised through summer signing Dunne. He initially met Morris’ corner, with his second effort at goal beating Oxley in the Southend goal. A deserved equaliser.
Just like Southend earlier in the half, the Cod Army should have grabbed their second of the game through Madden, but he missed the chance from six yards out. On the rebound, Dempsey’s curling effort was tipped over the crossbar – a fantastic save from Oxley.
On the stroke of half-time, Morris gave his side the lead in the match with a tap in after Andrew’s long range strike was parried by the keeper.
That lead didn’t last long and within three minutes of the restart; Humphrys low free-kick beat the Fleetwood wall and Gilks between the sticks. All square once more.
Dempsey regained Town’s lead at Roots Hall with a powerful header from eight yards out after full-back Lewie Coyle’s hanging ball into the penalty area. A great goal on the midfielder’s 100th EFL game for the club.
Harrison Biggins replaced Rossiter in midfield and with the appearance from the substitute’s bench, it brought up his 50th EFL game for Fleetwood. He nearly scored in the match, but he saw the Southend defender deflect his shot up and over the bar.
Biggins was involved in his side’s next opportunity at goal. After he fizzed in the ball to Madden, he flicked one around the defender to the on-running Morris, who went drove into the Shrimpers’ 18-yard box, failed to make the counter attack count.
Fleetwood could have given themselves a two goals coushin in the match when Burns was played through by fellow Welshman, Ched Evans. Burns hit his shot first time only to see the ball clip the outside of the post.
There was late drama at Roots Hall when Humphrys’ scored a brace to give his side their first points of the campaign, with the match finishing three a piece in the sunshine on the South East coast.
Southend XI: Oxley (GK), Bwomono, Humphrys, Cox, McLaughlin (Ndukwu 79’), Kiernan, Hamilton, Manton ©, Lennon, Hutchinson (Goodship 58’), Blackman (Demetriou 69’).
Subs not used: Bishop (GK), Hyam, Dieng, Shaughessy.
Town XI: Gilks (GK), Coyle, Clarke, Dunne, Andrew, Coutts ©, Rossiter (Biggins 60’), Dempsey, Burns, Morris (Souttar 80’), Madden (Evans 69’).
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Hunter, Sheron, Saunders.
Attendance: 5,236 (83 away)