Fleetwood Town walked away 3-0 winners over Bolton Wanderers on a stormy night at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Town started the game as they ended it, with goals coming at either end of the 90 minutes. Ged Garner opened the scoring just five minutes in with Harrison Biggins adding a late brace to bring his tally, and Fleetwood’s for the game, to three.
With the first chance of the game, Fleetwood took the lead. The move started with Jay Matete fiercely playing the ball from the centre to Callum Morton, who held the ball up well, waiting for the run of Danny Andrew. He then carried the ball before finding G.Garner in the box, who poked home.
The weather was playing havoc with both teams, with balls going out of play anytime they went into the air, meaning that the amount of chances created was at a minimum until Oladapo Afolayan whipped in a free-kick towards the head of Elias Kachunga, but his header was flagged offside.
Bolton put a series of attacks together from set-pieces with one of them ending in what The Trotters believed to be a goal, but after a brilliant one-handed save from Alex Cairns, Eoin Doyle turned home from close range and an offside position.
28 minutes into the game, Town were back on the attack down the left, with Andrew and Biggins connecting once again. The latter played a lobbed ball into the box, and even though the defenders cleared, it was only to Carl Johnston – who started his first league game on the night – but he fired over.
Three Fleetwood penalty claims were waved away by the referee, which saw the fans very displeased. The first was Morton coming in from the left and was pushed to the ground, the second saw Garner seemingly tripped on the turn, and the last was Cian Hayes, who lost a battle with Ricardo Santos.
Town were almost two up 33 minutes in as Morton somehow kept the ball as he pushed through the Bolton back line. The forward carried on his run-up to the edge of the box, but his effort was saved by the trailing leg of Joel Dixon.
Just before the break, Bolton had a spell of their own as Afolayan’s free-kick from 20-yards struck the Town wall and George Thomason tried his luck from range, firing his effort into the palms of Cairns.
In the fourth minute of added time, G.Garner should have added to his first as C.Johnston played a well-placed ball through a crowd and into the feet of the forward, but it almost seemed to catch him off guard as he hit it wide.
G.Garner was at the front of another attack, when Paddy Lane fed the ball through the line, finding the forward. He took the ball towards goal, but Dixon did well to come out, read the play, and make himself big, forcing Garner to fire wide.
Soon after, Doyle latched on to a perfectly placed ball down the right, before playing a first-time cross to Kachunga and even though the ball was just behind him, he turned and forced Cairns into a save.
Drama stirred around Highbury 18 minutes from the end as G.Garner played Morton through one-on-one, but Santos took out from behind, with him being given a red card.
It was bedlam at the end of the game as Fleetwood stormed away, scoring two goals in as many minutes. Biggins is a man in demand over the last week as he bagged a late brace in the game, taking his tally up to three in two games.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew (C), McLaughlin, Clarke, Morton, G.Garner, Matete (Boyle 90’), Biggins, Lane (Baggley 90’), C.Johnston, Hayes (C.Johnson 68’).
Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Morris, Clark, Conn-Clarke.
Bolton XI: Dixon (GK), John, Santos (C), G.Johnston, Doyle (Baptiste 74’), Aimson (Amaechi 68’), Afolayan, Lee, Kachunga, Thomason, Gordon.
Subs not used: Gilks (GK), Delfouneso, Tweedley, Conway, Pettifer.