Fleetwood Town International Academy (FTIFA) were held to a 2-2 draw against Cardinal Newman on Wednesday afternoon.
FTIFA’s efforts on Monday against Global Soccer Network looked like they were taking their toll on the players and the squad in the match, with a number of changes being made by the FTIFA management.
The players brought in stepped up to the task and produced a very strong start with dominating the possession and probing the Newman defense. FTIFA were unlucky not to have convert one of their many chances in the early exchanges.
The breakthrough came midway through the first half as a high press from midfielder Yacoub allowed FTIFA to counter and open the deadlock. Sherran Hoyte was the player to convert his chance, burying it past the Newman goalkeeper.
In the following 15 minutes, Newman came into the game and created problems down the left hand side. With a number of close calls in the FTIFA defense, the central defenders were dealt with and cleared to safety.
The pressure didn’t let up though as Newman were rightly rewarded with an equaliser. After great build-up play, the hosts forward netted his goal into the far top corner from the left hand side of the box. A goal they deserved for their pressure.
Both teams were keen to push for the third goal of the match after the half-time interval, with FTIFA creating more of the opportunities without really testing the Newman keeper between the sticks.
FTIFA’s desire and effort in the match eventually paid off when Smiler was brought down just outside the penalty area. With the resulting free-kick, Smiler stepped up to curl his free-kick home!
As the match entered the final stages, Newman were presented with one final chance. The chance that did fall for the Newman striker, he took it with ease to see the match end 2-2, with both teams sharing the points.
On balance of chances and possession, you’d have to say it was a fair result on the day. FTIFA will now play against Liverpool College on Thursday 6 November.