Fleetwood Town battled hard in a well contested 1-1 draw against Sunderland on a cold Friday evening at Highbury Stadium.
Both sides worked the ball well in the middle of the park throughout the game but struggled to create clear cut chances. The visitors managed to take the lead midway through the second half after Charlie Wyke headed past Jayson Leutwiler but it was captain Callum Connolly who slotted home to level up the game late on.
Fleetwood had the first chance of the game in the 3rd minute as Callum Camps whipped in a corner from the right towards Danny Andrew at the edge of the box but his volley was easily saved by a diving Remi Matthews.
Sunderland soon had their first attack of the game as Denver Hume ran down the left-wing, cut inside, and tried his luck with his right-foot but his effort went well wide of the target.
Hume was key in another Sunderland attack in the eight minutes into the game as Charlie Wyke took a through ball down, play in the full-back but his low strike was saved by Jayson Leutwiler.
Fleetwood came out the break the better side and it was Camps who chanced a long-range effort, trying to catch out Matthews, but his driven shot hit the crossbar. Madden tried to guide the rebound into the box towards substitute Ched Evans, but the goalkeeper reacted quicker.
Former Fleetwood full-back Conor McLaughlin was the source of the next attack as he curled a perfectly weighted cross towards Wyke, who headed just wide.
Town looked like they should have had a penalty just before the hour mark as Madden lobbed the ball to Evans, who took the ball down brilliantly but was seemingly knocked to the ground by Bailey Wright. The referee waved away the appeals.
Straight after that, Sunderland ran down the other end and latched onto a headed clearance, which was collected by Tom Flanagan, he lumped the ball forwards to Charlie Wyke who headed past the rushing Leutwiler.
Fleetwood found themselves level again with 15 minutes to go as a scramble in the Sunderland box led to Connolly getting the ball and smashing the ball into the back of the net to make the game 1-1.
Town XI: Leutwiler (GK), Edwards, Andrew, Connolly (C), Burns (McKay 75’), Camps, J.Morris (Evans 45’), Mulgrew, Rossiter (Coutts 75’), Madden (Duffy 75’), Finley (Whelan 80’).
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Hill.
Sunderland XI: Matthews (GK), McLaughlin, Flanagan, Wright (C), Maguire (Power 87’), Wyke, O’Nien, Scowen, Graham (Grigg 68’), Leadbitter, Hume (McFadzean 87’).
Subs not used: Burge (GK), Sanderson, Embleton, Diamond.