MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood Town 1 Luton Town 2

Madden
Madden

Fleetwood Town gave League One leaders Luton Town a battle at Highbury but Joey Barton's side could not stop the Hatters making history.

Mick Harford's side made it 20 unbeaten in the Football League for the first time in their history with a 2-1 win.

But it was far from a walk in the park for Harford's side as Fleetwood put up a stern fight with Paddy Madden's 18th of the term setting up a tense finish.

Town could not find a leveller after Madden made it 2-1 on a day that saw keeper Alex Cairns make a rare error.

Peter Banks littered the turf with yellow cards after a number of tasty challenges though the home faithful made their feelings known that they felt Barton's side had been harshly treated with some decisions.

Set-pieces were the order of the day but both sides were guilty of poor deliveries with keepers James Shea and Alex Cairns basking in the winter sunshine.

An Andrew Shinnie deflected effort fell into the path of Danny Hylton but he was unusually wasteful as up the other end Ross Wallace's long range efforts asked questions of the league leaders with both sides keen to exploit the dazzling sunlight and try and wrong-foot the shot-stoppers.

All but two of Fleetwood forward Paddy Madden's 17 goals have needed more than one touch and thus it was a surprise to see his radar off as he volleyed over in the box.

It was a Jason Holt challenge that would give Luton the opportunity to find their dead ball groove.

It came from a sublime counter-attack with Danny Hylton's sumptuous back-heel releasing Alan McCormack to break through the pack.

He slid Jack Stacey in on the right and Holt went to ground to try and mop up the danger with Banks awarding a set-piece.

They were wasteful at the start but with four minutes to the break George Moncur soon made up with an unstoppable free-kick that flew past Alex Cairns.

They had kept Fleetwood's 37 goal front three quiet and showed their quality at the death of the half.

The confidence of Harford's men clear to see as they steamed towards 20 unbeaten.

Fleetwood keeper Cairns made a rare error just four minutes into the new half as his howler saw the Hatters take control.

Fleetwood have yet to earn a point this term after conceding first and Cairns allowing Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu's 25-yard effort to roll through his legs did not aid their quest to end that hoodoo.

Ross Wallace's free-kick was just tipped over by James Shea as Fleetwood searched for a way back.

Barton had shuffled his pack throwing on Ashley Nadesan for Holt and moving Burns back to right back.

That saw Lewie Coyle move into a new central midfield role and he did not look out of place.

Though Fleetwood needed substitute Ash Hunter to stop a third.

The forward on hand to block the unmarked Elliot Lee's effort from close range after Cairns was left at sea.

Fleetwood never gave up and they were rewarded for their efforts as Madden popped up at the death.

The striker made it 18 for the term with his ninth first time finish at the death.

He nearly clinched a late fight back as he latched on to the ball in the box once again in added time but he could not dent Luton's historic day.