Luton Town 2 Fleetwood Town 0: Match report

Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan

Fleetwood Town failed in their aim to become the first team to beat Luton Town on their home turf in the league this term as they lost 2-0 at Kemilworth Road.

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton made three changes and shifted to a new 3-5-2 formation for the clash at Luton Town.

Conor McAleny, Lewie Coyle and Wes Burns all started the 2-1 FA Cup second round win at Guiseley.

But Coyle and Burns were not fit enough to feature at Kenilworth Road with attacker McAleny moving to the bench.

Ryan Taylor came in to the right wing role of a midfield five with Ross Wallace and Jason Holt joining Marney in a middle trio.

James Husband moves up to left wing with Nathan Sheron moving into a central defensive role alongside Ash Eastham and Craig Morgan.

It was the 500th career appearance for Fleetwood Town midfielder Ross Wallace while it was also Lewis Baines' first ever league appearance on the substitutes bench.

Fleetwood started brightly with both Paddy Madden and Ched Evans wasting chances in the opening exchanges.

Town were rocked by another injury blow just before the 10 minute mark as left-back Husband limped off.

And the Hatters were to take full advantage of that extra man as they stung as Town waited to send midfielder Kyle Dempsey on.

But despite Fleetwood losing a man on the left Luton stung on the opposite flank as they attacked Town's right.

Andrew Shinnie was the man who found space putting in a ball that was touched on by James Collins and poked home by Harry Cornick in the 11th minute.

Dempsey moved to a role on the right of a midfield three as Ross Wallace dropped back to left back.

But as the half wore on Town reverted back to a flat back four.

The wingers Taylor and R Wallace moving back to join Eastham and Morgan as Sheron joined Marney in central midfield.

Dempsey moved to the right and Holt to the left with Madden and Evans up front.

The shift in formation benefited Town with Wallace's cross in from the left eventually finding Taylor.

But he could only blast the ball over the bar.

Fleetwood found space on the left moments later, Evans released by Holt but his pull-back just missed the run of Madden.

Fleetwood struggled to find a way through at the start of the second half.

The only chance they could muster was an effort from just outside the box by Marney that fizzed straight to Shea.

It was Luton who looked the more likely to score but Barton switched things up again in the 66th minute.

Dempsey had only been brought on in the 11th minute but was withdrawn for Hunter - the second time this term Barton has withdrawn a substitute.

Luton though continued to press with substitute Danny Hylton cutting through Town.

The forward breezed past a host of yellow shirts before chipping the ball over Morgan to steam through.

Nathan Sheron had spotted the danger and managed to mop up though the home faithful felt he had used his arm to clear the threat.

Hylton continued to pose problems and it was his work that lead to the second.

The substitute stormed in on the right and pulled the ball back to the six-yard box with Morgan diverting the ball past Cairns in the 80th minute.

Fleetwood somehow avoided conceding a third as Hylton nodded a corner towards goal.

His effort beat Cairns but Holt was on hand to hook the ball away.

Barton threw McAleny on for Ryan Taylor in the closing stages with Sheron moving back to right back and the attacker playing just behind Madden and Evans in a midfield diamond role.

That lead to a chance for Town, Madden latching on to a flick on from Evans and getting room to test Shea.

But the Luton keeper was up for the challenge.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Eastham, Morgan, Sheron, Taylor (McAleny, 86), Holt, Marney, R Wallace, Husband (Dempsey, 11, Hunter 66), Madden, Evans. Subs: Jones, McAleny, Biggins, Hunter, Bolger, Baines.

Luton Town: Shea, Justin, Bradley, Pearson, Stacey, Lee (Potts, 88), Shinnie (Berry, 90), Cornick (Hylton 72), Rea, Mpanzu, Collins. Subs: Stech, Grant, LuaLua, Sheehan.