Fleetwood Town knocked out of FA Youth Cup

Fleetwood U18 coach Nathan Rooney. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby
Fleetwood U18 coach Nathan Rooney. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby
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Fleetwood Town’s FA Youth Cup hopes ended with a narrow defeat at Chester.

A Nathan Brown free-kick sealed Chester’s passage through to the next round to halt Nathan Rooney’s U18 side’s cup run.

Rooney made one change from the side that won 3-2 against Wigan Athletic with captain Lewis Baines replacing Ben Unsworth who moved to bench.

Fleetwood started strongly with Alex Dodd driving at the heart of the home defence, winning a free-kick six minutes in on the edge of the box but Dan Mooney fired the set-piece straight into the wall.

Ten minutes later Dodd found himself in another good position and his cross found striker Connor Finlayson but he headed wide of the post.

The lively Dodd was at the forefront of the action once again but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Chester shot-stopper James Hodges.

The home side’s first attempt on goal came in the 30th minute but was struck wide by Conor Rowbottom when he really should have done better after springing the offside trap.

Chester dominated the remainder of the first half, with two attempts from Ilan Ap-Gareth nearly breaking the deadlock.

His first came from a well-practised corner, which was driven low but his shot was blocked by Baines.

The second was an effort outside of the box just before the break, but it clipped the left post and bounced wide.

The visitors started the second half like the first, with a close attempt from Dominic Kerrigan being saved by Hodges.

Chester’s first attempt of the half came from Joe Edwards, who ran at the Fleetwood defence but his shot flew over the bar.

The home side carried on the pressure with a skilful run from Brown, which resulted in a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box.

Brown converted the subsequent set-piece in the 65th minute, as his strike dipped over the wall and beat Billy Crellin in the Fleetwood goal.

Moments later the scorer was in the box again, but his close range attempt was saved by Crellin.

It took a while before Fleetwood managed to launch an attack but a brilliant cross from Jack Bishop found Owen Bridge eight minutes from time, but his volley missed the target.

This lifted Rooney’s side and a minute later, a rebound caused the ball to end up at Gerard Gardner’s feet inside the box but his attempt on goal was blocked.

The visitors picked up the pace and urgency with their attacks, but a late tackle on the half way line forced the referee to give Lewis Sharrock the first yellow card of the match.

The last chance for a comeback came in the 87th minute when a corner was flicked on to the head of captain Baines but his attempt went over the bar.

FTFC: Crellin, Kerrigan, Abubakar, Shorrock, Holgate, Baines (C), Collings, Dodd, Finlayson, Garner, Mooney. Subs: Bridge (on for Finlayson), Bishop (on for Dodd), Unsworth (on for Shorrock), Turner. (4-4-3)

Attendance: 413