14 Man 'Fleet go down Swinging
Bolton make it 4 defeats in a row for the Green & Golds
It was around this time last year, where Fleetwood 2's went away to Bolton, and recorded an excellent 10-5 victory over a then undefeated side. Twelve months on, 'Fleet looked to replicate this. Midweek there was a strong team on paper, unfortunately though, missing players in the first team led to call ups, followed by last minute withdrawals from the squad, including Liam Gornall managing to re-injure his Hamstring in the warm up.
3rd team Captain Rob Mangan reluctantly allowed one of his lads to take a starting shirt in the backs for the twos, which caused some issues for his squad.
The kick off was delayed due to the official turning up late after being stuck on the M6. Once kicked off, the game was sluggish due to both sets of players being cold.
Fleetwood held on with the best defensive performance of the season so far, with some crunching and last ditch tackles, only conceding 10 points in the first twenty minutes. This is very much so an improvement from the previous games this season.
With that though, returning Mike Morley went off with an apparent head injury and blurred vision, which meant that 'Fleet had to readjust. Despite this the home side started getting some momentum up the pitch. Just as things were going 'Fleet's way, prop Jim Gregson went over on his ankle, with the dispute, was he tripped intentionally or by accident. This led to Gregson having to leave the pitch and leaving Fleetwood with only 14 men on the pitch.
Bolton used this numerical advantage to retake control of the game and punish Fleetwood.
At half time, the message was simply, don't give up and play with a smile. Straight from from the kick off, 'Fleet put the pressure on Bolton with Bob Barnes winning the penalty. From the resulting penalty, Fleetwood won the lineout and used the forwards to charge towards the line with Callum Rocks scoring from short range. Conversion missed.
Not really much more to tell in second half. Bolton recycled their men to keep them fresh and punished the undermanned home team.
With 5 minutes to go Lukasz Pajak came over from playing the 3s game and helped out for the dying minutes to put the teams on even numbers again.
Full Time: 5 - 71
Good display of grit and determination by the 14 men who played the full 80 minutes, with several of them out of position.
Man of the Match
There were some good performances throughout the team, despite the heavy loss. In the forwards, Callum Rocks took his try well, Ben Reynolds continues to make a good comeback to the club and Mike Jackson made some big hits.
In the backs, Connor Rothery put in a good performance despite looking like on deaths door (not from alcohol), Joe Crompton and Ryan Hargreaves continued to show glimpses of their budding talent despite playing out of position.
This weeks man of the match though is Ryan Holden. He made his tackles, always looked to go forward and was the first man over the breakdown making a nuisance of himself.
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
Sam's ankle and his job as a professional on a boat hide and seek champion kept him from playing this week. Not good enough Samuel, please improve!
There isn't a game for the second team next week as we have a week off. The Next Game is away at Keswick on the 13th October, please get permission from work/ your partner to play, as a strong squad will be required.
This Week sees our 3's contest a local derby away at Blackpool. If you fancy a game, please contact Rob Mangan. Otherwise you are more than welcome to come down and support the lads in their massive fixture! 3pm KO, Address: Fleetwood Rd, FY5 1RN.
Squad: 1. Foden; 2. Jackson; 3. Gregson; 4. Rocks; 5. Reynolds ; 6. Barnes; 7. McCann; 8. Holden; 9. Rothery; 10. Crompton; 11. Kirkbride; 12. Morley; 13. Hargreaves; 14. Carl; 15. Beavers; 16. O'Hara; 17 Pajak.