MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood 3 Leicester 0

Uwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler

On a night many stayed at home, possibly to watch the new-look Great British Bake Off, the 517 who did witness this opening Checkatrade Trophy clash at Highbury saw a Fleetwood side with all of the right ingredients.

The much derided competition has come under fire, especially for including Premier League youth teams like this Leicester side.

In truth the young Foxes had no bite and virtually no possession, never mind a sniff at goal, but it was actually a good chance for many of Town’s fringe players to give head coach Uwe Rosler some food for thought.

Godswill Ekpolo popped up with his first goal for the club and impressed at right wing-back.

Baily Cargill has been brought in to add balance to the back line but the left- footer made an impact with his head on his first Fleetwood start, nodding home the second, while striker Wes Burns finally ended his 13-month goal drought.

Rosler made seven changes from the 3-1 League One defeat at Bristol Rovers on Saturday, though it was still a strong side with many players keen to prove a point.

Only Amari’i Bell, Jordy Hiwula, Ash Eastham and skipper Nathan Pond remained from last weekend as Town met the competition’s selection criteria.

Keeper Chris Neal came in for Alex Cairns, while Bournemouth loanee Cargill made his first start.

It was all Town in the opening exchanges as they dominated possession, though had limited efforts on target, the best coming from Godswill, whose fierce strike stung the palms of Max Bramley

It was a sign of what was to come as Godswill opened the scoring in the 27th minute.

It was a fine team move, started by Bell on the left. He fizzed a pass down the channel to Hunter, then Hiwula, Burns and Glendon all touched the ball before the overlapping Godswill joined the attack and finished well.

It continued to be one-way traffic as the red and white shirts passed the Premier League club’s young guns off the park. It was not a performance you would have expected from the young Foxes, who failed to get any foothold.

Town could not add a second before half-time, though Hunter’s strike from just outside the box fizzed past the left post, and Godswill’s skill to keep the ball in play on the right was not matched by Burns as he fired over from the defender’s pull-back.

Burns had run off a knock during the first 45 but Bell, who limped for several minutes with a foot injury, was withdrawn at the break.

Fleetwood again started in fashion after the break, with Hunter rifling the ball into the left post and Leicester’s youngsters still failing to get any time on the ball in a real case of men versus boys.

Town doubled their lead in the 60th minute as Cargill marked his first start with a goal, nodding home Glendon’s chipped set-piece from the left.

Fleetwood never took their foot off the gas and skipper Pond showed acrobatic skills as his overhead kick just flew over the bar and Glendon was denied by Bramley.

Victory was sealed five minutes from the end, when the lively Burns was released by Godswill and fired home a fine angled effort into the top corner.

Fleetwood: Neal, Bell (Maguire, 46), Eastham, Pond, Hiwula (Sowerby, 77), Burns, Glendon, Godswill, Hunter (Grant, 83), Schwabl, Cargill. Subs not used: Cairns, Rodgers, Nadesan, Biggins.

Referee: M Coy.

Attendance: 517.