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Match Reports

Report: Town's Development Squad play out draw with Stoke City

28 July 2023

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Fleetwood Town's Development Squad played out a 2-2 draw with visitors Stoke City in the penultimate pre-season friendly at Poolfoot Farm.

First half goals from Sam Fishburn and Josh Edwards gave the hosts a 2-0 lead at the interval, with Stoke City pulling two back in the second half to undo all the hard work the hosts put in during the opening 45.

In the sunshine at Poolfoot Farm, it was the hosts Fleetwood who started off the sharpest. Pharrell Brown was lively down the left flank and on numerous occasions got past his man to put in a very good cross, unfortunately for him, no one was there capitalise on the tap in.

Fishburn looked dangerous inside Stoke's penalty area, and when wing-back Billy Jones picked out the former Carlisle United forward, his glancing header narrowly went wide of the Potter's left hand post.

The visitors did go close on their only attack in the first 20 minutes, but when it fell to their forward, he wasn't composed to trouble David Harrington between the sticks.

Fishburn did open the scoring five minutes later with a header. Kyle White did well to find a yard of space to delivery a cross and it just beat the keeper at the near post. It was close as the goal was given by the linesman on the far side.

The young Cods doubled their lead a few moments later through Edwards. His free-kick from 25-yards beat the wall and the keeper, with his strike curling away from the keeper to find the bottom corner - a wonderful strike giving the hosts the lead they deserved.

In the second half, Stoke came out much stronger and made a game of it. Both teams had chances in the early exchanges, but both keepers were on hand to make saves.

The Potters did pull one back after the hour mark after a lovely reverse pass beat Town's back line and the finish was well struck to beat Harrington at his near post.

Stoke levelled the scoring with 75 minutes on the clock. A long range effort, drilled low on the ground alluded those in the defense as well as the keeper - who could only watch it hit the back netting.

It was a game of two halves, with Town taking the first and Stoke having most of the play in the second. A test for both teams, with both taking lots of positives into the new season.

Starting XI: Harrington (GK), Jones, Teale, Johnson, Edwards, Wilson (Wright, 80'), Morrison, White, Brown, Fishburn (Lane, 80'), Williams.

Subs not used: Donaghy (GK), Hoyle, Whelan, Trialist, Roberts.

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