Fleetwood Town started of their pre-season schedule with a 2-2 draw against Tranmere Rovers at Poolfoot Farm on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Toto Nsiala and Paddy Lane saw Scott Brown’s side end their first game of the summer on level terms at the club’s training ground, after cancelling out strikes from Kane Hemmings and Jake Burton.
The visitors started the better side as they managed to open the scoring two minutes in as Hemmings pushed his way through the back line to get on the end of a lofted through ball before slotting the ball under Tom Donaghy from close range.
Town grew into the game from this point and Shaun Rooney was at the heart of the action as he whipped in a cross for Chris Conn-Clarke, who had his effort blocked.
Two minutes later, he was the one getting on the end of a cross, this time from a Danny Andrew corner, with Tranmere’s trialist goalkeeper there to save the shot.
Both sides went into the break on level terms after Nsiala found the back of the net from six yards just before the half-time whistle. Andrew tried his luck from a direct free-kick, which was deflected into the path of Town’s defender to tap home from inside the box.
21 changes were made at the break, with 11 coming from Fleetwood and the other 10 from Tranmere, as one of their trialists was the only one to stay on the pitch after the restart.
It was unfortunate for Charlie Jolley, who came on at half-time, as he came off second best from a 50-50 tackle with Josh Vela and had to be replaced shortly after coming on.
Even though Tranmere retook the lead through Burton, it looked like Fleetwood were on the ascendancy as they were creating constant chances. The first chance started with Max McMillan who found Ged Garner in the middle, who couldn’t quite guide his effort goalwards.
Lane then forced a save out of Joe Murphy a couple of minutes before Cian Hayes was brought down in the box to win a penalty, which the Tranmere goalkeeper saved.
Kieron Morris had a chance for the visitors with 15 minutes to go as he tried his luck from 20-yards, stinging the palms of Jay Lynch, but not really troubling the new goalkeeper, who signed for the Cods last month.
Youngster Josh Edwards seemed to find his feet in the second half, in his first game for the club since signing from Stockport County, as he played in McMillan – who hit the crossbar – and did the same for G.Garner soon after, who couldn’t get the ball out of his feet in the centre.
Town ended the game strong as Lane’s effort flew just over the bar from the corner of the box, with Fleetwood drawing the game level with four minutes to go. J.Edwards ran down the left again and crossed the ball across the face of goal, finding Lane in the middle, who slid the ball home.
It was a good runout for all of the squad who now set their sights on the pre-season trip to Croatia on Tuesday, where they will face Rotherham United on Thursday 7 July.
Town XI: Donaghy (GK) (Lynch 46’), Andrew (J.Edwards 46’), Wiredu (Vela 46’), Bird (Earl 46’), Harrison (G.Garner 46’), Conn-Clarke (McMillan 46’), Boyle (Batty 46’), Morris (Lane 46’), Rooney (Johnston 46’), Nsiala (Johnson 46’), Baggley (Hayes 46’).
Subs not used: N/A
Rovers XI: Trialist (GK) (Murphy 46’), Dacres-Cogley (Hughes 46’), Byrne (Hayde 46’), Davies (Hockenhill 46’), Trialist (Fisher 57’), Bristow (Jolley 46’) (Stratulis 51’), Nolan (Merrie 46’), O’Connor (Hawkes 46’), McAlear (Lewis 46’), Nevitt (Morris 46’), Hemmings (Burton 46’).
Subs not used: Lomax, Williams, Taylor.