Town’s Development Squad inflicted a humbling defeat on Gate at Marton last night.
Former Gate man Jack Sowerby made his return to the club he left for Highbury in 2014 and capped an outstanding display by scoring Town’s eighth goal seven minutes into the second half.
Sowerby was part of a strong starting line-up named by Fleetwood Development Squad boss Paul Murray, which included Godswill Ekpolo, Michael Duckworth and new signings Michael Donohue from Everton and the former Blackpool left-back Luke Higham.
The match went ahead after torrential rain and Fleetwood ran riot, showing technique and fitness was several levels above Gate to score seven times in the first half.
Gate started the game at a good pace and matched the visitors for the first 10 minutes but the floodgates soon opened.
Four goals in nine minutes put the visitors in control through Alex Reid, Donohue, Harrison Biggins and Ash Nadesan, scoring the first of his three after half an hour.
With two minutes of the half remaining, Nadeson completed his hat-trick and there was still time before the break for his strike partner Reid to notch a second.
Gate made changes for the second half but were on the back foot again seven minutes in as Sowerby popped up fora deserved goal against his former club. The former Gate striker looked sure to help his current club reach double figures but Fleetwood had to settle for just one more goal, despite plenty of possession.
Former Rushall Olympic frontman Reid grabbed the second hat-trick of the game on 72 minutes to round off the scoring for Fleetwood’s dominant young guns.
Though the scoreline doesn’t make comfortable reading for Gate, they will learn important lessons from the display of skill and fitness shown by the professional club.
Town’s senior squad look forward to a high-profile friendly against Bolton on Saturday, when Gate host Bamber Bridge.