Fleetwood beaten by Anfield aces on penalties in final

Goalscorer Jack Sowerby
Goalscorer Jack Sowerby

Fleetwood Town’s Development Squad gave their all against Liverpool in the Lancashire Senior Cup final but lost 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

George Johnston’s goal with 20 minutes remaining looked to have been the winner for the Anfield club but Jack Sowerby’s stunning strike three minutes from time meant a shoot-out at the County Ground, Leyland.

Johnston then struck the winning spot-kick for Liverpool, with Michael Donohue the unlucky man to miss for Fleetwood.

Head coach Paul Murray named ana attacking side, with a front three of Gerard Garner, Ashley Nadesan and Donohue.

Liverpool started the better, with the lively Harry Wilson forcing Chris Neal into a smart save after just two minutes. The resulting corner was cleared by former Kop kid Joe Maguire.

Nadesan forced Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher into a save and the Horley Town attacker continued to threaten.

Soon after Wilson found space again but his scooped effort was wide.

Former Everton attacker Donohue was next to test Kelleher. Following a neat exchange of passes with Garner, he struck a solid effort on target which was well saved.

Midway through the half captain for the nigh Sowerby (below) struck a stunning effort from the edge of the area but his strike whistled past the post.

The best chance of the half arrived three minutes before the break, when the excellent Harrison Biggins collected Victor Nirennold’s through-ball but his low effort from eight yards beat the post.

Both sides exchanged chances at the start of the second half, with Yan Danda shooting straight at Neal inside the opening 30 second,

At the other end, Garner’s shot was blocked, Nadesan slipped at the vital moment with the chance to prod home.

Ings was looking livelier in the second period and tested Neal twice before the hour, though the keeper was up to the task.

The key moment arrived when Liverpool substitute Bobby Adekanye beat his man to the byeline and cut the ball back to Johnston, who fired low into the net.

But Town rallied and got what they deserved in some style. Skipper Sowerby fired past Kelleher from 25 yards to ensure the game went to penalties.

Biggins, Sowerby, Nadesan and Maguire scored for Town but it was to be Liverpool’s night.

Fleetwood: Neal; Holgate, Sheron, Baines; Nirennold, Biggins, Sowerby, Maguire; Garner, Nadesan, Donohue. Subs: Clayton, Bishop, Unsworth, Djabi, Trailist.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Whelan, Parker, Masterson, Johnston; Coyle, Ejaria, Alves; Danda, Ings, Wilson. Subs: Virtue, Firth, Adekanye, Phillips.