FA YOUTH CUP: Fleetwood 1 Stevenage 5

Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.
Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.

Fleetwood Town Under-18s failed to etch their names into the club’s history books as they lost 5-1 to Stevenage in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

Fleetwood Town Under-18s failed to etch their names into the club’s history books as they lost 5-1 to Stevenage in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.
Town’s England Under-17 World Cup-winning keeper Billy Crellin has already cemented his spot in the club’s folklore but could do nothing about the goals as an Andronicos Gergiou hat-trick fired Stevenage past Nathan Rooney’s men.
Town have never reached the fourth round of the competition and will have to wait another year.
Rooney’s side had the first meaningful attack in a promising opening 20 minutes at a bitterly cold Highbury.
Unsworth’s strong tackling led to the chance for Bishop but his low drive was batted away by the keeper.
Fleetwood dominated possession but could not find an end product, whereas Stevenage looked sharper. Town were nearly the architects of their own downfall as Ben Donnelly-Blackburn spectacularly diverted a ball from the left on to his own crossbar.
The breakthrough came when Markus Gouldbourne sped past his man and his strike was batted back into his path by Crellin.
As Gouldbourne lined up a second shot he was felled and a penalty was rightly awarded. Crellin guessed right and got a hand to Georgiou’s strike but could not keep it out of the bottom right corner in the 38th minute.
Stevenage should have doubled their lead minutes into the second half as Gouldbourne raced clear down the right but his effort crashed into the left post.
Fleetwood were also guilty of wasting opportunities as Stevenage keeper Nathan Harness was caught in no-man’s land but Sam O’Halleron shot wide from just outside the box.
A period of intense Stevenage pressure followed and O’Keefe headed against the woodwork before Krasniqi doubled the lead.
Town wasted another golden chance when the unmarked Makepeace fired tamely at the keeper from little over six yards and Georgiou steamed up the other end to make it 3-0 in the 74th minute.
Donnelly-Blackburn bundled home in the 82nd minute and Town nearly set up a grandstand finish but Dodd’s shot was blocked.
Stevenage substitute Smyth made it four in the 87th minute and Georgiou had the last say with a low drive.

Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.

Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.

Fleetwood: Crellin, Kerrigan, Donnelly-Blackburn, Bani, Unsworth, Mashigo (Williams, 62), Bishop, Dodd, Makepeace (Bridge, 83), O'Halleron, Rydel. Subs not used: Turner, Finlayson, Hill.

Stevenage: Harness, Mensah, O’Keefe, Wilmot, Omar (Fernandez, 90), Leslie, Trialist, Taylor, Gouldbourne (Smyth, 75) Krasniqi, Georgiou Subs: Payne, Draper, Moriarty.

Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.

Fleetwood Town's U18 side hosted Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup at Highbury. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby.