Fleetwood Town progressed through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup following a hard-fought battle against Accrington Stanley that resulted in a 1-0 victory.
A second-half own goal was all that could separate the two sides in a fiercely contested game in the first round of the cup.
The opening 45 minutes was a scrappy affair with neither side creating any clear-cut chances, as both sides struggled to retain possession throughout.
Fleetwood’s Cian Hayes appeared to be the brightest spark moving forward, often beating Stanley’s Harvey Monk with some slick skill however failed to challenge the keeper with his first-half efforts.
A tidy solo run from Danny Edwards half an hour in was The Cod Army’s best chance of the half, however, his shot from just outside the box was sent blazing over the bar.
Stanley’s best chance came not long after as Leslie Adekoya beat ‘keeper Jonathon Borwick in the air following a loose ball, but Sam Barratt easily cleared the ball on the line.
The second half started similar to the first, with both sides struggling to break their opposition defensive line. The breakthrough finally came on the hour mark as Joe Collins’ cross was poked into the back of his own net by Stanley’s Ryan Graham.
The cross – which came following some excellent work by Collins as he breezed past a Stanley defender – proved too dangerous for the Stanley backline to handle as Graham turned the ball past his own ‘keeper.
The goal seemed to give The Cod Army confidence as they continued to mount pressure on the Stanley backline, and Fleetwood seemed to be not far away from a second.
Enoch Takpe came close to doubling the lead with 20 minutes to go, as a mistake from Stanley ‘keeper Jack Buckley gifted Collins the ball just outside the box, who calmly set Takpe up for an open goal – but his quick-fire shot was struck just over the bar.
The final twenty minutes consisted of end-to-end action, but an outstanding performance from Fleetwood’s back four kept Stanley at bay.
Collins came close to finding the back of the net with minutes to go, but his curling effort was well blocked by the Stanley defender.
The visitors pushed players forward looking for an equaliser in the final moments, which led to Mateusz Kardacz finding himself clean in on goal, yet his effort was well-saved by the outstretched leg of Jack Buckley.
Stanley continued to push players forward in added time, however, Fleetwood remained strong defensively to confirm their place in the next round of the FA Youth Cup.