Fleetwood Town secured a spot in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday afternoon after beating Oxford City 3-1 at Highbury Stadium.
A goal from Lewis Warrington and two for Paddy Lane was enough to see the Cods through to the next round of the cup. Oxford City did pull one back via Alfie Potter but that wasn’t enough to spark a comeback on the Fylde coast.
The game started evenly, with both teams passing the ball around nicely. Oxford looked to take the game to Town but some good defending in the opening exchanges stopped that.
The Cods started with youngster Cian Hayes partnering Callum Morton up top and the pair looked to make some nice forward runs for the midfield trio of Dan Batty, Lane and Warrington to find.
The first chance of the game came when Morton was through on goal in the ninth minute, but his shot was well saved by Ben Dudzinski in the visiting goal. Just moments later, Danny Andrew broke forward, but his effort was too high for the target.
To make it a hat-trick of chances, Morton was then denied for a second time as he nearly had the ball in the back of the net from a corner.
However, Town’s goal did come just shy of the quarter hour mark when Warrington put the Cods one to the good with a beautiful curling effort.
The Cods were piling the pressure onto Oxford once they’d found their feet and next to test Dudzinski was Lane. With a blistering attempt, which forced a save from City’s number one.
Not long after, Batty took a strike from outside the area and a brilliant effort it was. As much as Oxford were trying to create chances, Town were very much knocking on the door for a second.
Town did get a second goal a minute before the break when the ball broke loose for Lane, who smashed it home from just inside the box.
Fleetwood began the second period by withstanding some early patterns of play from the visitors but responded with a chance from Cian Hayes whose shot was deflected over the bar.
A few minutes into the second half, Town changed the shape and it seemed to help the side be even more fluid in the middle and Oxford’s struggle to create a meaningful chance continued.
As well as Former Gillingham striker Josh Parker shooting a free kick wide in the 59th minute, Oxford then tested Jakub Stolarczyk twice in quick succession.
Johnston played well in the second 45, getting down the right flank and in the 67th minute, drilled the ball across the face of goal but nobody was there to claim it.
Stolarczyk was called into action again, 20 minutes from time, to palm an Oxford cross away for a corner.
After a spell on the ball for Town, trying to create an opening for a killer goal, Oxford broke and pegged one back through Alfie Potter.
During the dying embers of the game, Town grabbed a third, when Lane got a brace and scored for the second time in the match.
It was a nervy ten minutes or so for Town, who hung on to book their place in the second round of the FA Cup.
Town XI: Stolarczyk (GK), Andrew (C), Wiredu (Morrison 90’), Morton (M. McMillan 72’), Lane, Warrington (Vela 60’), Hayes (Glenfield 60’), Nsiala (Holgate 45’), Batty, Johnston, Earl.
Unused subs: Lynch (GK), McMullan (GK), Teale, Baker.
Oxford XI: Dudzinski (GK), Ashby, Burley, Coyle, Fleet (C), Z. McEachran, Lolos (Potter 45’), Parker (Iaciofano 60’), Harrison, Williams-Bushell (Carbon 87’), Carroll.
Unused subs: Grantham (GK), Miccio, Rowan, Baptiste-Ficher, Humphries-Ewers, Muchchetere.