Fleetwood Town’s under 18s picked up all three points on Saturday in a 4-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Poolfoot Farm in the Youth Alliance League.
Goals from Lewis Patterson, Carl Johnston and Kian Makepeace gave Fleetwood a 3-0 lead at the break, before Joe Collins added the fourth to seal the win in what was a thoroughly professional performance.
Fleetwood came out of the blocks fast during the opening exchanges, and had a number of corners tallied up. After one corner was taken short to Shayden Morris, he managed to set up Makepeace inside the box, but his shot was saved well by keeper.
From the resulting corner, Fleetwood went ahead thanks to a bullet header from Patterson. This was just the goal the home side deserved for their dominance in the first 20 minutes.
Not long after, the score line was doubled. After a mix up at the back for the visitors, this allowed Johnston to run through on goal and calmly slot his shot past Jaden Beavan to capitalise on the Shrewsbury mistake.
The third goal came and it was nothing more than Simon Wiles’ side deserved. Morris was brought down by the goalkeeper inside the penalty area after making a darting run past a number of Salop defenders, and the referee had no option but to point to the spot.
Makepeace – just like he did at Millwall in the FA Youth Cup – picked up the ball, placed it on the white mark and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way!
After the third goal, the away side started to come out and attack more. The first real chance for the visitors came from a free kick from Lewis Dubbery, which at first looked dangerous, but seemed to curl away from goal at the last second.
Soon after the set-piece, Shrewsbury had their best chance of the half, and probably should have scored. Duberry managed to get himself a clean run through on goal, but Scott Pengelly was out quick to deny him.
With three well-worked goals inside the first half, you’d have to say it was all going well for the Cod Army, but they wouldn’t rest on their morals as there was another goal to come.
In the second half, it was all about making sure that Shrewsbury didn’t have a chance to get back into the game.
Town had a great chance through Johnston, and after working magic on the right side, he slid through Makepeace, who just didn’t get the connection he needed to score his second of the afternoon.
Towards the end of the second half, the win was sealed by substitute, Collins – who added a fourth after a fantastic pass from Anthony Williams, which cut open the Shrewsbury backline.
The win was nothing more than what the Under 18s deserved, and with chances falling throughout the match for the Cod Army, it will be a pleasing performance for all those involved.
Preston North End – who are top of the league - are up next for Fleetwood, and a win for Wiles’ side will see them go joint top of the Youth Alliance League with the Lilywhites. The match will take place on Saturday 25 January 2020 (10:30am kick-off).