Walsall 2 Fleetwood 0

Nathan Pond makes his 400th appearance for Fleetwood
Nathan Pond makes his 400th appearance for Fleetwood
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A lack of creativity once again hampered Fleeetwood Town as they bowed out of the FA Cup in the first round.

Town started brightly enough, David Ball showing the confidence to turn his man in the box, laying on Jamie Proctor - the striker unable to get his shot away.

But Fleetwood’s creative deficiencies were still evident, Steven Pressley’s men unable to turn possession into clear cut chances.

And 19 minutes in they were punished, against the run of play.

Walsall hadn’t managed a shot on goal but scored with their first opportunity.

Fleetwood switched off for a moment, stretched to the right, exposed down their soft undebelly.

It looked like George Evans might pick out Jason Demetriou who was on his own down the Saddlers right, Amari’i Bell having gone absent without leave.

But as no Fleetwood man closed him down Evans shaped to shoot, smashing a low shot into the bottom corner, Chris Maxwell with no chance.

Fleetwood needed to up the tempo in the second half but for all their hard work struggled to create clear cut chances against a side comfortable on the ball.

Tyler Forbes blasted over from 10 yards, Jamille Matt hooked just past the post after a quality move by Nick Haughton.

But Town left the best until last.

Haughton’s sweeping pass was met by Forbes, his cross bundled behind.

From the resulting Haughton corner Antoni Sarcevic had a shot scrambled off the line, Walsall riding their luck in the closing stages, Fleetwood unable to find any fortune

Nathan Pond flashed a header just past the post from another Haughton set piece.

But Town had left it too late, punished at the death for their late pressure.

Anthony Forde charged onto a throw down the left, cutting unchallenged into the box and curling a shot past Chris Maxwell to end Fleetwood’s FA Cup adventure.