Fleetwood Town finished their Papa John’s Trophy group stage with a perfect record as they managed to beat Sunderland 2-1 at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Cod Army came back from one down to beat the Black Cats as goals from Barrie McKay and Mark Duffy overshadowed Callum McFadzean’s opener.
The first chance of the game fell to the home side as Sam Finley lobbed a ball across the Sunderland box, towards Josh Morris, but his volley ended up in the hands of Anthony Patterson.
Soon after, Sunderland were on the attack as a free-kick found Oliver Younger at the back post, who tried a diving header, which struck the Fleetwood crossbar before McFadzean’s follow-up was blocked.
The deadlock was broken 15 minutes in as McFadzean picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and drilled an effort across goal, beating Alex Cairns and finding the bottom right corner to open the scoring.
Fleetwood were close to making the game level in the 34th minute with a short corner allowing Mark Duffy to find J.Morris but his shot is parried away. This was followed by an audacious chip from Jordan Rossiter which went just over the bar.
With the first chance after the break, Fleetwood made it 1-1 as J.Morris ran across the pitch towards the left-wing, crossed it into the box and McKay was there to tap in home.
Fleetwood seemed to find their groove in the game as substitute Barry Baggley got on the end of a Shayden Morris cross, but his effort went just over the bar.
Not long after that, Town took the lead as the all played through a crowd to the edge of the box, where Duffy was waiting, and he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Fleetwood carried piling on the pressure as McKay stepped over a free-kick around 25 yards away from the Sunderland goal. He took a short run-up and his strike rattled the crossbar.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Duffy (Boyle 85’), J.Morris, Rossiter (C) (Baggley 45’), McKay, Finley (Barratt 89'), Smith, Holgate, Hill, Rydel, S.Morris.
Subs not used: Leutwiler (GK), Hayes, Edwards.
Sunderland XI: Patterson (GK), Willis (C), Dobson, O’Brien, Embleton, Diamond, Neil, McFadzean (Wilding 60’), Younger (Dunne 44’) (Steels 49’), Taylor, Hawkes.
Subs not used: Richardson (GK), Wearne, Curry, Almond.