Fleetwood Town put in a valiant performance at Hillsborough on Tuesday night but narrowly fell short in a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
After Lee Gregory opened the scoring early on in the game and then hitting the post soon after, Town grew into the game and forced multiple saves out of Bailey Peacock-Farrell. The best one came late on as substitute Anthony Pilkington played a cross into the path of Callum Camps, who couldn’t quite get a toe onto it to guide it goalwards.
Sheffield Wednesday created the first chance of the game inside the first five minutes when Jack Hunt’s cross picked out Lee Gregory in the inside the six-yard box whose header was too high.
At the other end, it was Fleetwood’s turn to go forward. Danny Andrew picked out Ged Garner just inside the area who managed an effort on goal, but his shot was off target.
Wednesday turned over possession and almost took advantage of it. Liam Palmer found Lewis Wing on the edge of the area, but his strike flew into the safe hands of goalkeeper Alex Cairns.
Soon after, Dennis Adeniran picked out Wing on the right-hand side who drove into the penalty area. He played the ball across the face of the goal, but nobody was able to poke the ball towards goal.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when Gregory played Adeniran through on goal. His low shot was superbly saved by the diving Alex Cairns, but Gregory was there to pounce on the loose ball and poke his side into the lead.
On his first start of the season, it was Harrison Biggins who responded for Town when he let one fly from range. His strike stung the hands of Bailey Peacock-Farrell as he dove to his right.
Gregory was at the heart of the action once again and this time looking to double his side’s lead. Wing’s freekick from the flank was met by the head of the centre-forward whose effort clattered against the near post.
Garner led Fleetwood’s hunt for an equaliser received the ball on the edge of the area. He beat his man and created space for the shot, however on this occasion his effort was comfortable for the goalkeeper.
Biggins, a bright spark for the Cod Army in the first half created a chance out of nothing. He drove into the opposition half, dribbling past two men along the way, before unleashing an effort on goal and forcing a save out of the Wednesday stopper.
Town came close to pulling one back just before the break. After some intrinsic build-up play, Brad Halliday appeared to have picked out Callum Morton in the box whose effort went just wide of the near post, however, the referee pulled play back for an earlier infringement.
The final chance of the half came when Dominic Iorfa rose highest on a corner. His header was on target but too close to Alex Cairns who ensured his side went in just one goal down at the break.
Fleetwood started the livelier of the two sides in the second half and continued their push for a goal. Biggins found space on the edge of the area, but he saw his optimistic effort saved by Peacock-Farrell.
The hosts replied when through goal scorer Gregory. His ball across the six-yard box found the run of Marvin Johnson who after losing his man, was unable to turn the ball home from close range.
Just as the game began to settle down, Barry Bannan picked out the Gregory with a through ball – playing him in behind the Town defence. However, he was unable to double his tally and fired just wide of the post.
Fleetwood substitute Shayden Morris came close to levelling the score when he drove into the Wednesday box. He showed quick feet to beat the oncoming defenders before forcing a save out of the keeper who held onto the ball. Soon after, Callum Camps received a short free-kick on the edge of the area, but his effort was deflected wide.
With 10 minutes to go, Danny Andrew looked to replicate the astonishing free-kick he scored against Lincoln City. However this time his effort beat the wall but failed to beat the goalkeeper.
With five minutes to go, Town almost levelled the game up as Pilkington ran into some space on the left before playing a low-cross into the Wednesday box, with Camps just unable to get a touch on it to guide it goalwards.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Halliday, Andrew, Clarke, Morton (Pilkington 58’), Camps (Edmondson 85’), Rossiter (C), Holgate, Garner, Hill (Morris 46’), Biggins.
Unused subs: Crellin (GK), Matete, Morris, Batty, Clark.
Sheffield Wednesday XI: Peacock-Farrell (GK), Palmer, Hutchinson (Dunkley 46’), Iorfa, Adeniran, Gregory (Kamberi 72’), Bannan (C), Byers (Patterson 72’), Johnson, Wing, Hunt.
Unused subs: Wildsmith (GK), Brown, Dele-Bashiru, Luongo.