Fleetwood Town played out a 1-1 draw with Oxford United in their latest Sky Bet League One outing at the Kassam Stadium.
Under the floodlights in Oxfordshire, the Cods took the lead with the first attack of the game as Carlos Mendes Gomes carried on his great run of form, scoring an overhead kick just 65 seconds into the game.
This was cancelled out, however, by substitute Gatlin O’Donkor for the hosts midway through the second half meaning both sides would take home a point apiece.
It was a blistering start from the Cods, who managed to break the deadlock less than two minutes into the clash as Shaun Rooney’s venomous effort could only be parried into the box where Mendes Gomes was lurking, and he pulled off a brilliant overhead kick to beat Simon Eastwood at his far post.
Town carried on the pressure from the front as they looked to extend their lead when Rooney picked up a loose ball in the opposition’s half in the 13th minute before unleashing another strike from distance, which troubled Eastwood again as he dove down to his right to push it wide.
In a first half which saw limited chances, Dan Batty looked like he might have forged a chance to get the second of the night two minutes after Rooney’s effort, but he didn’t get enough power behind the strike, making it an easy save in the end.
Oxford then started coming into the game with 10 minutes left in the half as Cameron Brannagan saw he had a yard of space just outside the box and his luck, but Jay Lynch was a match and easily stopped the effort, keeping the game at 1-0.
With the last meaningful chance before the break, Callum Morton picked up the ball in the opposition’s box, controlled the ball brilliantly, and stole a yard of space in a tight area, with his eventual effort needing to be saved by Eastwood between the Oxford sticks.
From the start of the second half, it was Oxford on the front foot as they managed to level up the scoring as O’Donkor, who came off the bench at halftime for Marcus Browne, hit the bar with his effort from close range before converting the follow up in the middle of a goalmouth scramble.
A chance apiece soon followed as Danny Andrew picked out Morton inside the Oxford area, who poked a shot towards goal after some brilliant passing play in the build-up, but Stuart Findlay was there to stop the shot. A couple of minutes later, Lewis Bate had a shot at the other end which flew wide of the mark.
Karl Robinson’s side then looked to go the aerial route to try and forge some chances around the hour mark as crosses were whipped in towards Elliott Moore and Findlay on separate occasions, but neither ended up in the home side hitting the target from inside the Town penalty box.
This was recognised by Town who had a spell of their own with less than 20 minutes to go as Mendes Gomes picked out Morton, who let the ball run to Andrew, but his effort was wild and flew over the bar. Then, our loanee Luton winger was at it again on the left as he forced another save out of Eastwood.
After a lengthy break due to an injury to Rooney – who needed to be replaced by Carl Johnston – Lynch was called upon two more times as he had to stop Marcus McGuane’s ambitious effort from range before denying Brannagan in added time.
Oxford XI: Eastwood (GK), Findlay, Moore (C), Brannagan, Browne (O’Donkor 46’), Bate (Henry 73’), Brown, McGuane (Jones 90+4’), Joseph, Anderson (Goodrham 73’), Seddon.
Unused subs: McGinty (GK), Gorrin, Mousinho.
Town XI: Lynch (GK), Andrew, Mendes Gomes, Vela (C), Morton, Warrington, Holgate, Batty (Wiredu 66’), Rooney (Johnston 83’), Earl, Baker.
Unused subs: Stolarczyk (GK), Lane, Hayes, McMillan, Glenfield.
Attendance: 6,286 (69 away).