Fleetwood Town’s Development Squad drew 2-2 with Premier League side Burnley at the Lancashire Football Association headquarters on Wednesday afternoon in a pre-arranged friendly.
Goals thanks to Sam Bird and Carl Johnston in the first half put Town ahead on separate occasions, but Burnley reacted on both occasions to level things up.
It was a cagey start to the game but one the Town had the edge too, keeping the ball well under Burnley’s high press.
After a few successive chances for the Cod Army, the persistence would be rewarded just before the 15-minute mark where Bird tapped home into an open net after a ball from the left from Chris Conn-Clarke.
It was all Fleetwood in the opening twenty minutes, a few successive chances where Lewis Patterson won his 50/50, Bird picks up the loose ball and turns defensive into the attack, driving down the right, he puts the ball into the box, but Barry Baggley’s effort forces a good save out of the goalkeeper.
At the half an hour mark, the Clarets did equalise against the run of play, a miscommunication between Patterson and Will Marment allowed the striker to slot home to equalise.
Town reacted well though as the combination of Conn-Clarke and Cian Hayes down the left proved difficult for Burnley’s defence as the two worked well together to take on their men but Conn-Clarke’s effort from twelve yards flies over the bar.
It was Burnley’s turn to have their fair share of the ball as they looked to test Town’s backline, but a central, resilient pairing of Patterson and Sam Barratt dealt with everything that came their way.
The Cod Army’s defensive solidarity gave the forwards the freedom to turn defence into attack with confidence as Hayes was given space to drive forward down the left, gets the ball across the face of goal, it proves difficult for the defender whose clearance is picked up by Johnston who rounds off the ‘keeper and doubles Fleetwood’s lead with his effort from an angle.
It was a quiet start to the second half with both sides trying to get their foot on the game, but it was Fleetwood who tested the oppositions’ defensive third the most as Conn-Clarke combined well with Hayes down the left, a quick one-two to evade the sliding tackles but the latter’s effort on target is saved.
Town dominated the second half as they dominated the first, a variety of chances falling to the boys in red - Hayes picking the ball up from a Burnley corner and he drives the full length of the pitch into Burnley’s box, the ball drops to Joe Collins whose effort is toe-poked wide of the post.
Against the run of play on the 70-minute mark, Burnley came from a goal down to level things up the second time during the game, as a ball comes in from the right and the man in Claret gets ahead of Barratt and puts the ball into the back of the net.
Town looked to immediately respond where Conn-Clarke drives down the left, steps in front of the defender, is clipped and the referee points to the spot.
Conn-Clarke steps up to take the penalty, but it was a good height for the ‘keeper, and Town are denied a chance to take the lead as the spot-kick is saved.
In a game full of goals, the final score ended with two goals apiece between the two Lancashire clubs.
Town XI: Marment (GK), Bird, Barratt, Patterson, Trialist, Boyle, Baggley, Johnston, Hayes, Collins, Conn-Clarke.