Fleetwood Town made it two from two in the Papa John’s Trophy as they overcame Barrow, beating them 3-1 at Holker Street on Tuesday evening.
Second half goals from Jay Matete, Ryan Edmondson, and Max McMillan cancelled out Ozzy Zanzala’s first half goal.
Town started brightly as two debutants almost combined in the 5th minute. Chiekh Thiam stormed down the right flank and played a brilliant cross into the packed home penalty area, looking for McMillan but James Jones managed to intercept and head clear.
The home side managed their first chance of the game inside the opening 15 minutes when Festus Arthur’s driven ball found the run of George Williams, but he was unable to direct his header on target from close range.
At the other end, Fleetwood came close to taking the lead when McMillan drove into the Barrow box, cutting the ball back for Edmondson who wasn’t able to turn the ball home at full stretch.
Williams threatened for the hosts when he found space on the edge of the area. However, his low strike was straight down the throat of Billy Crellin who saved comfortably.
Minutes later, the Fleetwood stopper was called into action once again when Zanzala looked to guide the ball into the far corner, but the Town goalkeeper pulled off a fine diving save to ensure the score remained level.
The Cod Army came close to taking the lead when McMillan capitalised on a misplaced pass back from Jones. Fortunately for the home side, goalkeeper Josh Lillis stood tall and smothered the shot behind for a corner.
A flurry of Fleetwood chances followed, most notably in the 23rd minute when Callum Johnson got onto the end of a deep corner. He volleyed the ball towards goal, stinging the palms of Lillis.
Before the break, Barrow took the lead when Zanzala latched onto a through ball inside the area to poke past the onrushing Crellin.
Town levelled the score with the first chance of the second half in the 48th minute. After a neat bit of build-up play, Matete unleashed a left-footed strike which flew past the outstretched goalkeeper and into the top corner.
Another chance, another goal. Max Clark’s early cross into the penalty area picked out the run of Edmondson who fired home inside the six-yard box to turn the game on its head and give Fleetwood the lead.
After a brief pause due to a floodlight failure, Town doubled the deficit. After picking up the ball on the halfway line from Thiam’s pass, Edmondson’s sensational solo run into the opposition box saw him work his way past his marker, before firing the ball across goal towards McMillan who added Fleetwood’s third.
Matete was at the heart of the action once again when he came close to adding his fourth and doubling his tally. He tried his luck from 25 yards with an almost identical effort which struck the crossbar and bounced behind.
Town XI: Crellin (GK), Andrew (Raffie 80’), Edmondson, Matete, Batty, Johnson, Clark, Teale, Thiam, McMillan, Thompson (Hayes 80’)
Unused subs: Wright (GK), Camps, Garner, Biggins, Bird.
Barrow XI: Lillis (GK), Brough, Taylor (C), Zanzala, Kay, White, Jones, Gotts (Stevens 46’), Grayson, Williams (Gordon 75’), Arthur
Unused subs: Farman (GK), Moloney (GK).
Attendance: 1281 (74 away)