It was a five goal thriller at the Impact Arena where Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town advanced to the second round of the FA Cup.
Alfreton were facing an extremely strong Fleetwood who had only two changes from the side that faced Gillingham in the League the previous weekend, and it wasn’t long before the Cod’s took the lead 14 minutes into the game.
The goal game from quick link up play between Lewis Coyle and Wes Burns, initiated from a throw in, and lethal striker Paddy Madden made no mistake within the Alferton penalty area, smashing the ball into the net at first opportunity. Then six minutes later Fleetwood doubled their lead with Ashley Hunter sprinting past Alferton’s defence after Madden provided a superb through ball.
There was a big chance of it being 3-0 soon after with the Alfreton back line looking shaky, but goalkeeper Ramsbottom saved his team after Holt hit a well-struck shot on goal.
The hosts had their first opportunity of the game when a free kick hit from their own half got lofted into the Fleetwood box, chested down by captain Lewis Shields only to end up in goalkeeper Alex Cairns making a comfortable save from an overhead kick attempt by Nathan Hotte.
After the break Alfreton pressed Fleetwood’s defence more, seemingly spurred on by manager Billy Heath’s half time team talk, but it was Fleetwood who once again took their chance. Hunter was brought down in the box and the referee had no hesitation when pointing to the penalty spot. Paddy Madden stepped up and smashed his shot into the left hand corner of the goal, scoring his second of the game.
But it was then Alfreton’s turn to get on the score sheet, a just reward after their continued pressure in the second half. 24 year old Jordan Sinnott battered the ball with pace into the Fleetwood goal from a free kick, critics would say goalkeeper Cairns could have done better.
Fleetwood hit again deep into injury time, Gerard Garner getting on the end of wicked cross by Dempsey, ensuring that there was no cup upset on the cards at the Impact arena.
It was a potent display by Fleetwood on the road at Alfreton, and all eyes in the Lancashire town will be on the FA Cup Second Round draw.