Fleetwood Town go through to round three of the Papa John’s Trophy after beating Blackpool 5-4 in penalties at Highbury on Tuesday evening.
Both Fleetwood and Blackpool had chances throughout the game but neither side was able to break the deadlock in normal time. It was penalties that decided the tie as Mark Duffy scored the winning spot-kick for Town.
The first chance of the game fell to Fleetwood as Ryan Rydel ran down the left-wing before whipping the ball into the box towards Harvey Saunders, who headed the ball wide of the near post.
Saunders was at it again just a few minutes later, this time it was Paul Coutts crossing the ball in from the right, but the forward’s header went over Jack Sims’ bar.
Fleetwood were on the attack again after 20 minutes as S.Morris took on his man, played a low cross into the box, but Saunders’ shot went just wide.
The visitors could have opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark as Keshi Anderson is played through, one-on-one, and forces a great save from Alex Cairns, who made himself big and dealt with the attack brilliantly.
Town had another attack with four minutes to go in the first half as Mark Duffy found Sam Stubbs in the box, from a corner, with the defender heading the ball towards goal but a Blackpool defender managed to get in the way and clear.
Blackpool had the last chance of the half as Ethan Robson played a one-two in the middle of the park and then tried his luck from range. Cairns saved the effort, pushing the ball only to the feet of Matty Virtue who fired over.
The Seasiders opened the second half with a chance as Luke Garbutt ran down the left-wing, into the Fleetwood box, but his shot on-goal was easily blocked.
Town had the upper hand on the hour-mark as Duffy found Stubbs in a packed box from a corner and, even though his header was on-target, it was easily saved by Sims.
Soon after, Saunders thought he was through but was seemingly tripped up by Jordan Thorniley but the referee decided there wasn’t enough to give the Cod Army a penalty.
After the ball bundled around the Fleetwood box, the ball fell to the feet of substitute Jordan Williams who struck the ball with his right-foot straight at Cairns, who collected the ball well.
With five minutes to go, James Hill meets a Duffy corner inside the box but couldn’t quite guide his header goalwards.
The tie went to penalties after neither side managed to score in normal time. Alex Cairns managed to save Robson’s penalty before Duffy stepped up and slotted it home to make it 5-4 to Fleetwood.
Town XI: Leutwiler (GK), Duffy, Evans, Coutts (C), Saunders (Madden 72’), Boyes, Stubbs, Hill, Rydel, Matete (McKay 76’), S.Morris (Whelan 76’).
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Burns, J.Morris, Holgate.
Blackpool XI: Sims (GK), Gabriel, Thorniley (Gretarsson 74’), Robson, Sarkic, Anderson (Mitchell 63’), Virtue (Williams 45’), Kemp, Turton (C), Garbutt, Lubala.
Subs not used: Fojticek (GK), Apter, Mariette, Holmes.