Fleetwood Town fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to local rivals Morecambe at Highbury on Saturday afternoon.
Callum Johnson thought his header had cancelled out Callum Jones’ first-half free-kick, but an injury-time winner from Cole Stockton saw Town fall to a defeat.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Jay Matete. The midfielder won a 50/50 on the edge of the box and let fire towards goal, it was unfortunately deflected just wide and went out for a corner.
Completely against the run of play, as Fleetwood had controlled the majority of the opening 10 minutes, Morecambe won a free-kick just outside the box. Jones was the man to take it and placed it perfectly into the bottom right corner of Alex Cairns’ goal, leaving Town’s number one at full stretch, still unable to reach it.
Paddy Lane seemed like a real threat down the left side in the opening 20 minutes, and he was nearly rewarded for his hard work as he cut inside onto his right, but his effort at goal was comfortably claimed by Jakull Andresson.
Down the left side again, and through Lane again, Fleetwood created another chance, as the young winger whipped the ball into Ged Garner, who could only direct his header just over the bar.
Morecambe immediately went up the other end to try and double their lead, but with superb defending from Callum Johnson he managed to deflect Arthur Gnahoua’s shot away from goal.
It was end to end at this point, as with the next passage of play, coming through Shayden Morris this time, resulted in his cross finding Callum Morton whose effort on goal was deflected behind for a corner.
Town had the visitors pinned well into their own half just before the half-hour mark and they started to grow into the game once again, as Morton once again, found himself in a goal-scoring opportunity, but Andresson did well to deny the striker with his feet.
After another promising attack from the hosts, Dan Batty curled a corner into the box and Tom Clarke powered his way through to win the header, but it bounced inches wide of the mark.
Town were really pressing for an equaliser before the break as smart play from Morris resulted in the ball falling to Garner on the edge of the box. The #19 aimed for the far top left corner but it was agonisingly too high.
Some beautiful football from Fleetwood to begin the second half and all it needed to top it off was the finish, but Garner’s first-time effort didn’t trouble Morecambe’s keeper.
Morecambe nearly scored a second, as a well-worked set-piece was left unclaimed as no one was running to the far post for the flick on.
Having switched sides, Lane was now operating from the right side of the pitch, and this time he opted to cut inside onto his left foot, but his near post effort was saved by Andresson.
Fleetwood finally had their equaliser, and it was deserved. With 10 minutes left on the clock, a Danny Andrew corner was flicked on at the near post by Johnson over the helpless Morecambe goalkeeper.
Nearly a repeat of the equaliser, Morton made a dart to the near post, and as everyone watched and waited, his flick on went just wide.
Lane came so close to winning his side all three points as Morton laid him off, but his shot from the right side of the box went an inch over the bar.
For the second game in a row, Fleetwood have been the victim of a stunner, Stockton received the ball on the halfway line, spotted Cairns off his line, and smashed it as hard as he could.
That injury-time goal took it away from Simon Grayson’s side and left them heartbroken as they had no time to try and reverse what had just happened.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Andrew, Clarke (C) (Biggins 78’), Morton, Holgate, G.Garner (J.Garner 68’), Matete (Pilkington 78’), Morris, Batty, Johnson, Lane
Unused Subs: Crellin (GK), Edmondson, Clark, Johnston
Morecambe XI: Andresson (GK), McLaughlin, Leigh, O’Connor (C), Jones, Stockton, Delaney, Ayunga (Phillips 78’), McLoughlin (Diagouraga 75’), Gnahoua, McCalmont
Unused Subs: Da Silva Mendes (GK), Cooney, Gibson, Duffus, Wootton