Fleetwood Town continued their preparations ahead of the 2020/21 season on Saturday afternoon, as they lost 4-1 to Blackburn Rovers at Highbury Stadium.
Fleetwood opened the scoring early on through Ched Evans, who latched onto Danny Andrew’s volley, but goals from Harry Chapman, Adam Armstrong and Luke Brennan secured the win for the visitors.
Fleetwood had the first chance of the game after just nine minutes as Paddy Madden tried his luck from range, but Andrew Fisher was up to the task, saving the shot.
Blackburn soon went on the attack as a free-kick was whipped into the box from the left, aimed towards Scott Wharton, whose header went high and wide of the goal.
Within the first 15 minutes, Fleetwood managed to take the lead. Callum Camps lobbed a corner in towards the edge of the box, where Danny Andrew was waiting. His volley ended up on the head of Evans, who nodded it into the back of the net.
Debutant Coleman was brought into action soon after as Chapman found Brereton inside the Fleetwood area, but his near-post effort was easily saved by the keeper.
A mistake just seconds later led to a Blackburn penalty, as Andrew brought down Ryan Nyambe in the box. Brereton stepped up to the spot, but Coleman guessed right and pushed it wide.
Fleetwood packed on the pressure then, with two quickfire chances. The first was a long-distance effort from Andrew, which was dragged wide. The second was started by Barry Baggley but Wes Burns, who seemed to be pushed in the box, couldn’t get on the end of Madden’s cross.
Rovers levelled the score line in the 25th minute as Chapman found a yard of space inside the Fleetwood area and struck the ball across goal, beating Coleman in the process.
Both sides grew into the game, with chances few and far between until the 37th minute when Andrew’s cross found Evans 10-yards out, but his effort was blocked off the line by Jacob Davenport.
The last chance of the half fell to the Cod Army as Burns pushed past Amari’i Bell on the right, but his cross into the box was blocked by Davenport at the near post.
Blackburn came out the blocks at the start of the second half as substitutes Tyrhys Dolan crossed the ball into the Fleetwood box, towards Armstrong, who passed the ball into the back of the net.
Fleetwood had multiple chances a few minutes later. Baggley found a yard of space 18-yards out, with his left-footed strike needing to be saved by the Rovers keeper. Camps then tried his luck form range, forcing another save from the keeper.
Just after the hour mark, Andrew – who was active throughout the match – crossed the ball into Madden, who unfortunately couldn’t guide his shot goal wards.
The visiting team extended their lead in the 67th minute as Armstrong ran through on goal and placed the ball past the rushing Coleman.
The Cod Army changed their shape with a quarter of an hour to go, but it was Blackburn who carried on pressing, and eventually extended their lead through a Brennan strike.
Fleetwood pressed late on as substitute James Hill won headers on two consecutive corners but Eastham – who was between the sticks for Blackburn in the second half – was a match for his efforts.
Town XI: Coleman (GK), Trialist, Andrew, Boyes, Holgate, Burns, Evans, Camps, Baggley, Coutts (C), Madden.
Town bench: Cairns (GK), Biggins, Trialist, Hill, Rydel, Trialist, Trialist, Saunders, Matete, S.Morris.
Rovers XI: Fisher (GK), Nyambe, Bell, Wharton, Lenihan (C), Travis, Chapman, Buckley, Brereton, Davenport, Holtby.
Rovers bench: Eastham (GK), Rankin-Costello, Carter, Williams, Evans, Johnson, Lyons, Rothwell, Dolan, Grayson, Pike, Brennan, Armstrong, Bennett, Hilton.