Jackson seals win at Fleetwood
Kayden Jackson’s sixth goal of the season maintained Town’s position at the top of the table.
Luke Garbutt’s ability from free-kicks again came up trumps, the Everton loanee’s 25 yarder forced Alex Cairns into a save but he couldn’t hold on to the ball and Jackson pounced.
The striker could have added a second on 88 minutes but fired wide from a penalty spot and Blues finished with 10 men after James Wilson was dismissed for two yellow cards but Town kept the unbeaten record intact and that top of the table spot.
Town made one change from the team that beat Tranmere last weekend, Luke Woolfenden coming in for Alan Judge as Blues made a first trip to Fleetwood.
Tomas Holy was quick off his line to smother the danger as Ched Evans tried to get in, Lewis Coyle seeing a shot hit a team-mate, then Luke Chambers was in the right place to clear as Fleetwood started positively.
Wes Burns headed wide from a corner, Town responding with a slick move instigated by Flynn Downes that saw Jackson just short of releasing James Norwood in on goal.
Norwood and Paul Coutts picked up yellow cards in quick succession before the first real chance was created on 20 minutes, Garbutt cutting in from the left and firing just wide of the far post.
Kane Vincent-Young jabbed the ball wide of his own post following neat build-up play from Fleetwood, the full-back then showing his attacking side, bursting into the box but unable to get a shot in.
Norwood headed over from a whipped in cross from Garbutt, Cole Skuse just having a yard too much on a terrific ball from deep that threatened to release Garbutt, Skuse then yellow carded for a foul as Fleetwood broke but the free-kick came to nothing in a first-half of few openings.
Gwion Edwards replaced Vincent-Young at the break in the game’s first change and a minute into the second-half Town had a great chance to break the deadlock, Jackson’s chip finding its way to Norwood but the striker dragged his shot wide.
Jackson then raced clear after a Town break but tried to find the supporting Jon Nolan and the chance went but on 57 minutes Blues edged in front. Garbutt’s left foot free-kick again the provider and Jackson was first to the rebound to find the net.
Joey Barton responded with Paddy Madden entering the fray, Josh Morris making way. Town had a penalty shout when Nolan went down in the box as he looked to get in on Norwood’s cross, then Evans volleyed wide as the game increased in intensity.
The limping Norwood was replaced by Danny Rowe for the last 20 minutes, Jackson then going down under a challenge from Harry Souttar that looked a penalty but referee Boyeson again said no.
Ashley Hunter replaced Kyle Dempsey and immediately had a chance to level the scores but his header went wide of the far post, with Evans unable to get that vital touch goalwards.
Town finally got the nod from referee Boyeson for a penalty when Jackson went down under a challenge from Dunne but the striker was wide from the spot as the 90 minutes approached.
Wilson saw red for a second booking in added on time in a frenetic finish to the game but Blues held on for the three points.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Andrew, Souttar, Burns, Dempsey (Hunter 79), Evans, Morris (Madden 58), Dunne, Coutts, Rossiter. Subs not used: Gilks, Clarke, Biggins, Sowerby, Sheron. Booked: Coutts, Evans, Andrew, Dunne.
Town: Holy, Vincent-Young (Edwards 46), Woolfenden, Chambers, Wilson, Garbutt, Skuse, Downes, Nolan, Jackson (Huws 90), Norwood (Rowe 70). Subs not used: Norris, Dozzell, Judge, Georgiou. Sent-off: Wilson. Booked: Norwood, Skuse, Wilson, Edwards, Nolan.