Fleetwood Town fought valiantly in their loss to Premier League side Everton in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Highbury Stadium.
Everton – who fielded a very strong side - started out the game with two quick goals from Richarlison, but Fleetwood grew into the game soon after. Goals from Mark Duffy and Callum Camps brought the side back in the game, but goals from Alex Iwobi, Bernard and Moise Kean sealed the tie.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors as Niels Nkounkou ran down the left wing, crossed the ball into the Fleetwood box towards Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but he couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
After the first chance, both sides started to settle into the game, with neither able to create any gilt-edged chances.
In the 21st minute, Iwobi worked a yard of space about 20-yards and decided to try his luck, with his effort striking Alex Cairns’ crossbar.
Soon after, Everton broke the deadlock as Bernard spotted the run of Richarlison inside the Fleetwood box, clipped the ball in and the Brazilian forward put the ball past a diving Cairns.
The Blues made it two after 34 minutes as Richarlison played a one-two with Iwobi, after dribbling past a few Fleetwood players, before poking the ball into the net.
In the added time just before the half, Cairns pulled off a brilliant one-handed after Calvert-Lewin plucked the ball out the sky and tried his luck inside the Fleetwood box.
Both teams came out the blocks in the second half and Fleetwood managed to halve the deficit soon after the restart as Jordan Pickford miskicked a clearance, the Cod Army frontline spotted the error and substitute Duffy was there to knock it in.
In the 48th minute, Iwobi extended the Everton lead back to two as Everton substitute Anthony Gordon spotted Iwobi inside the Fleetwood box, played it across to him and he slotted the ball home.
Fleetwood has claims for a penalty waved away just after as Ched Evans seemed to have had contact with Lucas Digne but the referee waved the claims away, letting play carry on.
Town brought themselves back into the game for the second time before the hour mark as Camps tried an audacious attempt, after Duffy’s delivery, with the overhead kick finding the back of the net.
With just over 20 minutes to go, Cairns was forced into another brilliant save as Bernard tried his luck from 20-yards, but the goalkeeper was well aware and pushed it to safety.
Everton added another goal to the games tally in the 72nd minute as the ball is played to Bernard, by Gordon on the wing, who strikes the ball perfectly into the Fleetwood goal.
Fleetwood had a chance late on to get a third but substitute Harvey Saunders’ shot from range was smothered by the Everton defence, finishing off a brilliant performance from the Cod Army.
The final chance of the game fell to the visitors as Nkounkou played the ball to substitute Kean, who scored with the last kick of the game.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew, Whelan, Burns, Evans (Saunders 75’), Camps, J.Morris, Coutts (C) (Matete 75’), Boyes, Stubbs (Duffy 45’), Hill.
Subs not used: Leutwiler (GK), Garner, Holgate, S.Morris.
Everton XI: Pickford (GK), Kenny, Keane, Richarlison (Kean 76’), Delph (Davies 62’), Calvert-Lewin (Gordon 45’), Sigurdsson (C), Digne, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard.
Subs not used: Lossl (GK), Walcott, Doucoure, Coleman.