Fleetwood Town Under 18s overcame Walsall 3-0 at Highbury Stadium on Friday night to progress to the next round of the FA Youth Cup.
The first chance of the game came to Fleetwood as it was brilliant anticipation by Danny Edwards to pick up the loose goal-kick, a through ball between Walsall’s defence to Sam Bird as Bird found Smith in space but his effort sailed over the bar.
Soon after, a dangerous Fleetwood corner proved too difficult for Walsall to defend, as the bouncing ball found Collins who emphatically put it in the back of the net from six yards.
A solo run from Edwards on the edge of Walsall’s box created space for himself to get a shot away, but it was straight into the hands of Lewis Walker.
Cian Hayes’ pace proved too difficult as he found himself behind Walsall’s defence where Joseph Foulkes shoved the Fleetwood man to the ground and won a penalty for the hosts, this was only a small sign of Fleetwood’s attacking intent. Smith stepped up and superbly sent Walker the opposite way to double Fleetwood’s advantage.
The second half came, and Walsall started to ask some questions of Fleetwood’s backline, a clever in swinging cross from Jack Lynch found Jayden Campbell at the back post but his volley skimmed the post.
But the wave of the hosts’ attack kept on coming where It was impressive play on the right-hand side from Collins as he crossed the ball into Smith, a clever touch by the forward meant Walsall’s goalkeeper committed his body and a foul meaning a penalty to Fleetwood. Walker made up for his foul committed as he saved Smith’s spot-kick and kept the score at two.
After a long period of dominant possession from the Cod Army, Hayes was close to adding another, but Luke Zona was brave and put his body on the line to keep the score at bay for the time being.
Fleetwood’s well deserved third started with a perfectly weighted ball by Edwards over Lynch to find Collins who sent the opposition defender the wrong way, fired a ball into the box and Smith was there to find the back of the net with a smart finish.
The final 10 minutes consisted of some end to end play with the game being more stretched as time went on, but an outstanding defensive performance and professionalism from the Cod Army ensured progression to the next round of the FA Youth Cup.