Fleetwood Town 2 Shrewsbury Town 2: Late leveller rescues a point for Joey Barton’s players at Highbury
Substitute Josh Morris fired home an 87th-minute equaliser to earn Fleetwood Town a well-deserved point against Shrewsbury Town.
Morris lashed home late on from 18 yards – via a slight deflection – after Shrewsbury replacement Jason Cummings looked as though he may have stolen victory for his side six minutes earlier.
Town boss Joey Barton had made a couple of alterations to his starting line-up as Jack Sowerby and leading scorer Paddy Madden were given the nod.
Everton loanee Callum Connolly, making his home debut, was handed the task of playing in the centre-back position alongside Harry Souttar with Ashley Eastham and Morris having to be content with a place on the bench.
Town opened brightly at Highbury, Ched Evans volleying narrowly off target from Paul Coutts’ corner.
Evans was in the thick of the action the next time Town threatened after 13 minutes.
After the ball was headed back into the danger zone by Danny Andrew, Evans swivelled before seeing his volley beaten out by Shrews’ keeper Max O’Leary.
Andrew had a chance minutes later from a free-kick but was well off target.
Despite their dominance, Town were saved by the woodwork in the 37th minute when Shaun Whalley thumped a shot against the crossbar after meeting Scott Golbourne’s lay-off.
Whalley made no mistake two minutes later though, tapping home a rebound after Callum Lang’s initial strike was parried into his path by Alex Cairns, making his 150th appearance for Town.
It was a stunning blow for the hosts with Evans missing two very presentable chances to even it up before the break.
Town soon got back on terms after the restart, however.
Lewie Coyle made it 1-1, burying a shot low past O’Leary after executing a perfect one-two with Evans.
Minutes later Madden curled a shot inches over the bar with the outside of his foot and Town’s tails were up again.
Nevertheless, as the hour mark passed, the Shrews came back into contention.
Skipper Ollie Norburn saw a half-volley blocked, while at the other end, Town also probed with Souttar seeing a header blocked.
It was the visitors who went in front late on with Cummings sliding home a low, angled strike after he’d met Whalley’s through ball.
Morris deservedly earned Town a point though, lashing home clinically past O’Leary.
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Souttar, Connolly, Andrew, Burns, Coutts, Dempsey, Sowerby (Morris 77), Evans, Madden. Subs not used: Gilks, Eastham, McAleny, Biggins, Saunders, Hill.
Shrewsbury Town: O’Leary, Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre, Love, Norburn, Laurent, Golbourne (Beckles 46), Whalley, Lang (Cummings 69), Edwards (Udoh 61). Subs not used: Murphy, Walker, Goss, Hart.
Referee: Chris Sarginson.