Fleetwood Town played out a well-contested 1-1 draw against Lincoln City at Highbury on Tuesday evening.
The home side took the lead around 30 minutes into the game as Dan Batty drove forwards and tried his luck from range, finding the bottom-left corner with the strike. It was destined for a draw though after the Imps pulled it back to a goal apiece as Lewis Fiorini drove his effort home.
Town had the first chance of the game less than 60 seconds in as Batty played a lofted cross towards the back post, where he found the head of Tom Clarke, whose effort had to be cleared off the line.
The pressure on the visiting defence continued a few minutes later as Ged Garner was able to work a yard of space on the edge of the Lincoln box before firing just over Jordan Wright’s crossbar.
12 minutes in, Fleetwood won a corner, which was only half-cleared to Batty on the edge of the box, who volleyed the ball towards goal, with Fiorini having to get in the way.
Lincoln then went down the other end a minute later with Anthony Scully picking the ball up 20-yards out before whipping his shot through a crowd of defenders and wide of the far post.
The ball was in the back of the Imps’ net after 24 minutes as Callum Johnson drove forwards and forced a diving save from Wright. His save though found the feet of Cian Hayes who slotted home from an offside position.
Town broke the deadlock at the half-hour mark, and it was a brilliant strike from Batty from range. He picked up the ball from deep and ran into some space 25-yards out before trying his luck, with the effort flying into the bottom-left corner.
The last chance of the half came in the 44th minute as C.Johnson intercepted a long ball from the back before running at the defence, cutting in on his left foot, but fired over the crossbar.
With Stephen Crainey’s halftime team talk still in the players’ ears, Fleetwood almost found a second less than a minute into the half as Paddy Lane cut inside from the left and, unluckily, shot the wrong side of the near post.
Four minutes later, it was C.Johnson’s turn to have a chance as Batty played a cross in from the left to the defender who flies into it and heads high and wide of the target from six yards.
John Marquis had a gilt-edged chance in the 56th minute as the ball fell to him in the six-yard box after Fiorini’s shot, but he couldn’t seem to get the ball out his feet before slicing his shot on goal.
A moment of brilliance followed as Cairns pulled off two world-class saves to keep the score at 1-0. The first stopped the initial attack, before diving low and stopping a header from close range.
It wasn’t long though before the scores were level as five minutes later, the ball was played through a packed Town box, with it then making its way out to Fiorini, who placed the ball into the bottom left from 18 yards.
Fleetwood came so close to going back into the lead as Zak Jules is picked out at the back post from a cross, with his header having to be bundled off the line by multiple Lincoln defenders.
Both sides struggled to create meaningful chances after that one until the end of the game, meaning it would end one apiece on a rainy night at Highbury.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Jules, Clarke (C), Camps, G.Garner, Batty (Harrison 62’), C.Johnson, Lane, Nsiala (Butterworth 79'), Hayes (Pilkington 67’), Macadam.
Unused subs: O’Hara (GK), Harrop, Baggley, Boyle.
Imps XI: Wright (GK), Poole, Jackson, Hopper (Bishop 57’), Maguire, Scully, Walsh, McGrandles (C), Fiorini, Robson, Marquis (Cullen 57’).
Unused subs: Sanders, Adelakun, House, Sorensen.