Fleetwood Town history boy Cairns hungry for more after Crewe cup heroics
Alex Cairns is no stranger to etching his name in Fleetwood Town's history books or to penalty shoot-out victories at Crewe, and now the keeper is relishing finding out who Town's next opponents are in the League Cup.
Cairns, 25, was part of the Town side that achieved the club’s highest ever finish in the football pyramid when they placed fourth in the 2016/17 League One season.
After making history once again by pulling off a vital save in the shoot-out at League Two side Crewe Alexandra that sent Fleetwood Town through to the second round of the League Cup for the first time in their history, Cairns is hungry for more.
Seven years after being the hero for Leeds’ youth team in a 3-2 shoot-out win at Crewe in the FA Youth Cup, Cairns revived that spirit of 2011 to win his second shoot-out at Gretsy Road.
He said: “It is brilliant for the club and for the group of lads. We take great confidence from that bit of history.
“While I have been at the club we have made a few records but that piece of history will keep us all in tune with Fleetwood for years to come.
“We will take great pride in that and now we are in the next round anything can happen.
Fleetwood will find out their next opponents tonight when the second round draw is made at 7pm on Thursday.
They could face a Premier League side competitively for only the second time in their history, with clubs from each of the top four tiers in the hat.
And the keeper says that shoot-out win, in which Ash Hunter netted the winner after Cairns stopped Prry Ng’s effort, will give them confidence whoever they face.
Cairns says he backs himself every time in a penalty situation. While the 107 Cod Army fans might have been biting their nails, Cairns says it is an environment where keepers thrive.
He added: “As goalkeepers we do love a penalty shoot-out. Lucky for me I’m on the positive end of that.
“When I was in the youth team at Leeds we came here and did exactly the same in a penalty shoot-out too. It is quite a good place for me.
“Penalty shoot-outs are few and far between. We want to be on the positive end of that and just enjoy it.
“The lads came running over to me and Ash at the end. That feeling is a real buzz.
“It is a lottery at the end of the day but I have full belief and will try to save any shot.
“A penalty is a dead ball, you versus them, and I would back myself all the time against a 12-yard shot.
“Ash Hunter slots his penalty away to put us through and we can take great confidence into the next round from the shoot-out.”