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Report: Young Cods make history by reaching the FA Youth Cup Fifth Round

18 January 2023

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Fleetwood Town's Under-18s wrote their names in the club's history books on Wednesday evening as they beat Middlesbrough 3-0 at Highbury Stadium in the FA Youth Cup.

This astounding result by Mark Yeates' side means they will be the first-ever side from Fleetwood to make the fifth round of the competition, after reaching the fourth round on three other occasions.

After an early chance from Boro which flew over Stephen McMullan's crossbar, it was all Fleetwood. Two quickfire efforts on goal fell for the young Cods in the first 20 minutes as Mikey Lane stung the palms of the goalkeeper before Brad Arthur rose highest from a free-kick, but saw his header saved from close range.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first period and it was Pharrell Brown who did so. He had a brilliant game throughout, with his first goal leaving the goalkeeper, Nathan Fisher, no chance of saving it as he curled his effort inside the far post from just outside the area.

One final chance was worked by the visitors before the break, with Aidan Bridge aiming a free-kick towards McMullan's goal, but the Northern Irish keeper placed himself well making it an easy save for him.

Not much happened between the start of the second half and the hour mark, but after that, two goals came in quick succession. Substitute Sam Glenfield tried to pull off an audacious flick, but it ended up at the feet of George Morrison who rifled the ball into the back of the net making it two-nil 65 minutes in.

Not long after, Brown added to his tally as Dom Richmond played him in on the left, he then cut in onto his right foot and calmly placed the ball into the far corner, leaving Fisher flat-footed - much like his first goal of the evening. 

The young Cods then decided to focus on keeping hold of the clean sheet, with McMullan and his backline pulling together to stop multiple attacks. Town's shot-stopper had to be called into action multiple times with not long to go as he was at full-stretch to deny Luke Woolston from range, before blocking the follow-up from inside the area.

When the final whistle blew, the crowd erupted and the players jumped in celebration of their achievement - next up will be a trip down the M6 as they now have Premier League side Manchester City in the Fifth Round of the competition (details to be released in due course).

Town XI: McMullan (GK), Jones, Arthur, Khela, Johnson (C), Hughes, King, Morrison, Lane (Richmond 72'), Brown (Namputu 89'), Marsh (Glenfield 60').

Unused subs: Cragg (GK), Hand, Kearns, Roberts.

Boro XI: Fisher (GK), Myers-Smith (Cartwright 66'), MacCarthy, Woolston (C), Traore, McCabe, Patterson Powell, Bridge (Samuels 66'), Matthews, Lennons, Finch.

Unused subs: Wallace-Ming, Grant, Kiasangua, Patterson, Simpson.

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