Fleetwood manager Charlie Adam has already targeted an instant return to League One after their relegation was confirmed despite a 1-0 win at Leyton Orient.

Town’s 10 year tenure in the third tier came to an end despite Xavier Simons scoring three minutes into added time to settle the match and give the 133 traveling fans some small consolation on their return to the north-west.

Adam became Fleetwood’s third boss of the season when he took charge in December and he is determined to make sure their stay in League Two is a short one.

“It’s been a tough day for everybody involved at this football club, the directors, the management the players and the supporters,” Adam said.

“That group of players have given us everything since we came in on December 31 and it’s unfortunate that we’ve just come up short. It really is bitterly disappointing for Fleetwood as a club and for the town.

“I thought we were in full control of the game, we were never really under pressure and that’s what you will see from this side next season. They are going to run and fight all the way.

“That performance away from home was very good.

“I can’t thank the supporters enough for coming to support us. They have been with us all season since we came into the building and I’m really gutted for them.

“There is a lot of frustration of why and what but we’ll sit down and address things and we are going to do everything we can to come straight back up. We have the nucleus of a very good squad in League Two because they’ve shown they are good League One players.

“I’m already thinking about next season, what we want, what we need, how we are going to play and what we are going to do.”

Orient boss Richie Wellens said: “I’m very disappointed at the way the season has ended for us. I’m very professional and I want to keep my standards at the same level all the time.

“Twelve months ago, we were playing Crewe Alexandra in League Two to try and win the league and promotion and my mindset is exactly the same today as it was then.

“Today, I thought that in the first half we were good but in the second half we were poor.

“We were too slow at the back, kept passing back to our keeper, didn’t play through lines or play forward and we didn’t counter well and it was all a bit messy. We got what we deserved, so yes I’m very disappointed.

“We need four or five players to come in and make an impact. There are certain players I keep asking them to do the same thing week in and week out but my patience is wearing thin.”

Fleetwood boss Charlie Adam admitted his side were masters of their own downfall after being left on the brink of relegation from League One following a 4-1 defeat at Peterborough.

The Cod Army are facing up to a future in League Two after being left six points from safety with just two games to go.

They only have themselves to blame after Promise Omochere and Bosun Lawal both missed penalties before Adam’s men were put to the sword by play-off bound Posh.

Lawal fired Fleetwood ahead after just 13 seconds and then earned the ninth-minute penalty that Omochere saw saved by Posh keeper Jed Steer.

Malik Mothersille fired Posh level with his first English Football League goal and the game was still in the balance when Lawal was denied from the spot by Steer with 15 minutes to go.

Posh then took command with Archie Collins’ 81st-minute strike being followed by a stoppage-time brace from substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Adam admitted: “I’m gutted for the players and supporters. That performance did not deserve that result.

“To come here and show the character that we did, I’m really proud of the players, but we walk away extremely disappointed.

“We had the perfect start, but when you get big moments in games you have to take them and we have missed two penalties.

“The two lads stepped up and were brave enough to take them, but unfortunately for us they missed them.

“The dressing room is quiet and flat. Of course it’s going to be as we’re in a position we don’t want to be.

“We have to win two games and see where we are at the end of the season.

“The lads will be off tomorrow, we’ll come back in Thursday and prepare as we always do. The challenge is to finish on two positive results to take into next season.”

Peterborough are six points off the automatic-promotion spots with a game in hand.

Boss Darren Ferguson said: “Starting the game in the way we did – conceding a goal like that without even touching the ball – is bordering on the unprofessional.

“I never felt comfortable throughout the game, but we managed to get the reaction we wanted from Saturday by winning the game.

“If I was Charlie I would be really disappointed with the two penalties as they’ve both been pretty comfortable saves for Jed. It was a case of getting out of jail really for us.

“Jonno came on, set one up and scored two; Jed made the two penalty saves; Malik came in and scored so there were positives for sure, but there are things we have to tidy up.

“We’re in the play-offs now and another point secures us being at home in the second leg.

“Second place is obviously Derby’s to throw away but football works in many strange ways and they still need a win.”

Charlie Adam praised Fleetwood’s “complete” performance as they claimed a 2-0 win at home to Northampton.

The victory – only a second in their last 13 games – keeps the Cod Army’s Sky Bet League One survival hopes just about alive, though they remain six points adrift of the safety zone with just three games left to play.

Boss Adam was clearly proud of what he also described as the best he had seen from his team since replacing Lee Johnson at the turn of the year.

“It was a complete performance from us today so I have to be delighted with that,” Adam said. “Right from the start of the game we were at it.

“We maintained a good shape throughout and we were well organised against a good Northampton team.

“Maybe two goals wasn’t enough – I definitely think we should have had more as we were so dominant.

“I’m just happy to take the three points.

“I always felt in control after the first 30 minutes when we just blew them away.

“This leaves us with three games now, and we need more clean sheets like this if we’re to have a chance of staying up.

“We can celebrate a brilliant win tonight but then straight away we have to re-focus on another huge game on Tuesday night.

“We’ve got to go to one of the best teams and toughest grounds in the league in Peterborough, but we have to go there with confidence now.”

Fleetwood were in control at half-time thanks to goals from Promise Omochere and Bosun Lawal.

Cobblers manager Jon Brady made a triple change at the interval and his side improved after the restart.

Ben Fox and Marc Leonard created decent opportunities but they rarely threatened a consolation goal.

Brady was disappointed with the outcome, and said: “I’ve already told the players that I’m not prepared to let the season just fade away because of the position we’re in.

“But fair play to Fleetwood today. They came out with all guns blazing and in the bad conditions here, we found it difficult to get out.

“I think it’s fair to say they out-fought us in the opening 20 or 30 minutes and they have got some really good players, despite their position in the table.

“We’ve conceded two poor goals, though. They came about due to our own doing, it was sloppy from us.

“It was quite difficult and they played the conditions well – we didn’t.

“It was as simple as that really. We overplayed things too much and with them getting the two goals quite early, we faced an uphill battle.

“We just didn’t do the basics right far too often. We didn’t get the ball forward quick enough or often enough.”

Fleetwood’s survival hopes continue to hang by a thread despite a hard-earned 2-0 victory against Northampton.

Charlie Adam’s men secured only a second win in 13 games but remain six points shy of the safety zone with just three matches to play.

Fleetwood opened the scoring after only five minutes, with Promise Omochere perfectly placed to tap home Bosun Lawal’s cross.

Omochere went close again with a header shortly afterwards, before the Cod Army did double their lead on the half-hour.

This time Lawal provided a tidy finish following a precise, measured pass from Brendan Wiredu.

Lawal later tried his luck from 35 yards but Cobblers goalkeeper Lee Burge was equal to the task.

Northampton came to life after making a triple switch for the start of the second half, with Sam Sherring and Kieron Bowie both going close to a leveller.

Bowie then saw a 20-yard strike deflected behind for a corner.

Ben Fox and Marc Leonard went closest to grabbing a consolation goal for the visitors as the game fizzled out late on.

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley insists the Seasiders are poised to capitalise on any League One slip-ups following a 1-0 win over their relegation-threatened local rivals Fleetwood.

The Seasiders snatched Fylde Coast derby bragging rights thanks to Jake Beesley’s first-half header at Bloomfield Road.

Jay Lynch kept Fleetwood in the game with his superb save from Shayne Lavery’s penalty in the 77th minute.

Victory marked Blackpool’s first win over the Cod Army since December 2020 as they closed the gap between themselves and the play-off spots to three points.

Critchley said: “It’s a big win for us for a lot of reasons. We know how much this fixture means to the fans.

“We knew [to reach the play-offs] that we would probably have to win all four of our remaining matches and that’s the first one out of the way.

“It’s out of our hands at the moment and our aim going into each game is to win and get three points. If we can do that then we can hopefully capitalise on any slip-ups from the teams above us.”

The Blackpool boss defended Lavery for his penalty miss and switched the focus to their next clash against Carlisle at the weekend.

“Look, everybody misses penalties,” he said. “Nobody misses them on purpose. Shayne, unfortunately, missed his. But thankfully it didn’t come back to cost us.

“Derbies are always intense, scrappy affairs. They’re nervy. We’re pleased to get the three points and we move onto Saturday now.

“All we can do is focus on ourselves.”

Fleetwood’s Tommy Lonergan thought he had found a crucial equaliser at the death but celebrations were cut short when his goal was ruled offside.

Manager Charlie Adam stood firm that his side will not give with Fleetwood six points off safety with just four games remaining.

He said: “It’s a disappointing result and we’re disappointed we’ve come away with nothing.

“We came here with a game plan and I thought we stuck to that very well. It’s a game that we came into thinking we could win.

“I’m proud of them, really proud of them. I’m proud that they have come here and shown some personality.

“I said to them before the game that we needed personality and bravery on the ball and they’ve shown that.

“They fought for this jersey, fought for this football club right until the very end and sadly it wasn’t to be tonight.

“It will be the same Saturday and it will be the same for the last four games, we won’t give in.

“We will be here until the end and we will keep fighting. There is absolutely no doubt about that.”

Charlton boss Nathan Jones was left less than impressed with the state of the Fleetwood pitch after their 1-1 draw.

Blustery conditions made it difficult for both sides but Ryan Graydon came off the bench to salvage a point for battling Fleetwood as his 84th-minute strike cancelled out Alfie May’s opener at Highbury.

“It was just brutal really, a brutal game,” reflected Jones.

“The conditions and the pitch made a spectacle very hard out there.

“There was a lot of honesty out there, but very little quality so a point was a fair result.

“I don’t think a Football League pitch should be like this. For whatever reason it is, I don’t want to comment too much on it. But it made any kind of footballing game very difficult. The wind took away any chance of a spectacle.

“It’s one of those things, it’s EFL football. It was a brutal game today.

On the goal the Addicks conceded late on, he added: “We lost a runner, lose a challenge then another challenge and they tap it in off the post. I’m really disappointed because there were four things we could have done better.

“The manner of the goal was very disappointing. It was probably an even result, but when you lead going into whatever minute it was you expect to see it out and we didn’t.”

It was a goal which denied the London club all three points, though they stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.

But for the Cod Army it could be a precious point in their survival bid.

They are five points off safety and boss Charlie Adam was left wanting more.

He said: “If you look at what we did again, we created three or four big chances.

“The impact of the subs did a good job again. I’m really pleased for Ryan to get the goal, it was the least that we deserved from that game.

“We will go away, dust ourselves down and look back on it with real frustration in terms of not winning the football match.

“I believe we had the best chances in the game so it’s frustrating. But I’ll say it again, we’ve closed the gap and that’s all you can do.

“It’s disappointing but all we can do is look forward to the games that we have left.”

Charlie Adam was pleased to watch Fleetwood cut the gap to six points from safety after a goalless draw with Bristol Rovers.

Fleetwood dominated spells across the game without finding a breakthrough, while Gavin Kilkenny came closest for the Cod Army when he smashed the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Jayden Stockley’s flicked effort got scooped off the line by Rovers’ Elkan Baggott when the ball looked to be trickling over.

Danny Mayor was denied a first-half goal after Promise Omochere showed his strength to square to his midfield partner, who was denied by a desperate block from Luca Hoole.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire, the Fleetwood manager said: “I’m really disappointed from the first 45 minutes, in terms I felt that we never really got going in that first half.

“In reality I felt that we showed there was no real intensity for when we went to press the game and put pressure on Bristol Rovers.

“We felt like we were off it a little bit at stages. In the second half, the boys were much, much better. On another night I felt we could have nicked it and get all three points.

“Overall, I am really happy with a point at home. More importantly we’ve closed the gap. That’s what we’ll continue to do between now and the end of the season.”

For Rovers, all eyes fell on Antony Evans late on in the first half. He spun in behind the Fleetwood defence, but was denied one-on-one by Jay Lynch.

Scott Sinclair was smartly stopped by Lynch again, who got down well to his right to palm an effort wide.

In the closing stages, an Evans free-kick almost fortuitously rolled in, but flicked the outside of the post.

Rovers boss Matt Taylor said: “Chances at both ends tonight. We created the better chances, the cleaner chances against a Fleetwood team who are going well at home.

“I thought our keeper and our young backline stood up to the pressure they gave us too.

“Hopefully, we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve worked hard with our defensive units and our mindset to keep the ball out of our net and not be as leaky as we have been. I thought we showed that tonight.

“The clean sheet is massive tonight. I was so pleased how our defenders worked tonight. Very rarely have we failed to score in a game and very rarely have we not created chances.

“It wasn’t our night tonight. I can’t ask for much more. Post, blocks, saves. If the team’s going to be short of anything, let it be at the top end and not defensively at the other end.”

Fleetwood boss Charlie Adam was beaming with pride after a vital 4-2 victory over Lancashire rivals Wigan.

Bosun Lawal, on loan from Celtic, twice pulled Town level in the first half to cancel out goals from Stephen Humphrey and Thelo Aasgaard.

And further strikes from Gavin Kilkenny and Jayden Stockley, within seven second-half minutes, put the result beyond doubt to give Fleetwood’s survival hopes a welcome boost.

Adam said: “It’s the performance I’m happy with. We took the second-half performance from midweek at Port Vale to today. I thought the lads were magnificent, we dominated the ball and caused them real problems.

“We showed real character and that’s what we are going to need. At times the quality of play was really good.”

However, the 38-year-old was keen to remind everyone that consistency is key after the Cod Army’s first win in their last six games.

“Ultimately, it’s only three points and we don’t want to get too high on it, we go again next week,” Adam said.

“We are happy with the result but now it’s about getting that performance on a consistent basis. I want this club to expect to win football matches.

“Getting used to winning football matches is a good habit to have and this group of players are smelling that the performances are good and they are getting the results the performances deserve.”

A deflated Shaun Maloney defended his Wigan players despite their disappointing performance on the Fylde coast.

The Latics looked to be building momentum in the league after their midweek victory over Bolton but succumbed to the intensity of the hosts.

Maloney said: “Look, I can’t really criticise any of my players too much after what they gave me on Tuesday.

“But the levels were definitely lower today in some really key moments; when a tackle had to be made, when we had to defend our box, blocking shots, when we had to spring back.

“We spoke after the Bolton game, and some of our players, about a real desire and determination to win that game.

“Our levels didn’t live up to that game, although I can’t criticise the mentality.

“They gave me absolutely everything again today. It’s just in those key moments, our intensity wasn’t the same as it was in midweek.

“I was concerned before the game whether we could go again, that was my worry, that’s why I made the changes I did.

“I have to give Fleetwood lots of credit, they were better than us at the fundamental things and that’s why they won the game.”

Charlie Adam could not hide his frustration after Fleetwood impressed against Barnsley but fell to a 2-1 defeat.

Barnsley led through Sam Cosgrove’s header before Bosun Lawal pegged them back with a brilliant goal from distance.

Having wasted chances when dominating the first half, Fleetwood were then undone by Herbie Kane’s winner just before the hour mark.

Adam was left to rue those early missed opportunities, with his second-bottom side seven points from safety.

“We were the better team in the first half and the opportunities that we had were big chances,” he said.

“I think we should have had a penalty as well, that was a big call in a big moment, that would have got us back to 1-1, then we got our goal with a wonderful strike and it’s a huge disappointment but the effort that the lads put in was incredible.

“It’s frustrating but I think if you look at what we produced our performance was very good in terms of what we tried to do. Our game plan was working but we got caught with two opportunities against us that we feel could have been avoided.

“But I can’t fault my lads, they are giving everything and that performance against one of the top teams in the league should be a moment for them to grasp where we are and what we’re trying to do.

“Small margins win you games and small margins lose you games too. They’ve given us that performance against one of the best teams in the league who are in great form and have lost once away from home all season so we knew it was going to be a difficult game.”

Barnsley boss Neill Collins said the three points from another successful away day were hard earned and showed his players’ character.

“I’ve just said to the players the only thing that matters on days like today is the three points,” he said.

“I can’t be too judgemental about any performances, although the performance was good, especially in the last 30 minutes, but when you come to these places it might not be conducive to playing any type of football.

“The wind and rain was a real leveller, and I thought Fleetwood asked a lot of questions of us and our players stood up to it, so we move on thinking this was a big three points.

“They’ve shown character throughout this season, I think character is a great word for the group, I think they’ve got a lot of quality and energy but to have that character is going to stand us in really good stead.

“I thought their best chances came earlier in the game and we felt pretty comfortable in the second half. Every game’s tough away from home, especially playing against relegation teams because it’s make or break for them.

“I thought Fleetwood were so up for it and if we’d have been anything less than we were we could have been blown away but we weren’t. They’ve stepped up to every challenge really well.”

Charlie Adam felt Fleetwood deserved their point after Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu’s late finish earned a dramatic 1-1 draw at home to Reading.

Deep in added time, the Fleetwood skipper popped up at the back stick to cancel out Lewis Wing’s stunning opener.

The home side may have felt aggrieved earlier when Promise Omochere’s chance seemed to have crossed the line, but neither the referee nor the assistant indicated it should be a goal.

Fleetwood manager Adam said: “A fully deserved point tonight. On the best chances of the game, I felt we had enough to win the match.

“We felt the goal was over the line. But we didn’t let our heads drop. We obviously conceded the goal, but we battled on and fully deserved that 90th-minute equaliser.

“I thought we dominated the game, I thought we had the best chances, I thought we passed the ball well but when we got in the final third in the first half, we never, our opportunities and selections were not what we wanted.

“The lads have given me everything since I’ve come in and they’ve given me everything tonight.

“We deserved that. We deserved that draw, but there are still areas we need to work on. Areas we need to get better on, and I’ll take that, the endeavour we had and the hunger we had for 96 minutes.”

Reading had chances in the first half to open the scoring. Femi Azeez was sent down the right flank after 30 minutes but the winger’s cross was too vicious for Harvey Knibbs who headed over from underneath the crossbar.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan also wasted a great one-on-one opportunity when he was snuffed out by Fleetwood’s Jay Lynch.

Reading boss Ruben Selles said: “We didn’t start well – the first 35 minutes we didn’t control the game the way that we wanted. They were on top of the game.

“After half-time, we controlled the game and had chances, two one-versus-ones with the goalkeeper where we needed to put the ball in the net. At the end, we concede a goal we should never concede. Frustrated at the end and we need to perform better.

“We need to know that it is difficult to go away from home and win points – we know it. Today we had it. A lot happened in the second action, a bad clearance and a bad recovery.

“They are disappointed because I think we have more to offer and for more minutes. We need to be more robust. We come from a very dark place and have some good performances; we don’t need to forget that, and we need to keep pushing. Games are close until you get the second one, so we need to keep growing.”

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor bemoaned his side’s inconsistent form as the Pirates lost 2-0 at home to relegation-threatened Fleetwood.

Jayden Stockley and Ronan Coughlan both found the net to secure Fleetwood a second consecutive win, leaving them six points from safety in League One.

The defeat – Rovers’ fourth in their last five home matches in all competitions – ended a run of back-to-back league wins.

“We’re disappointed to lose the game,” said Taylor.

“We’ve fallen into the same pattern that we’ve done too often this season where we’ve had a boost of a couple of good performances and victories to boot and then not been able to follow it up physically and game wise.

“A bit of physicality against our back line and poor defending on two crosses has led to the opposition being ahead. We’ve had the two best chances of the first half and then we’ve had the sucker punch of a set-piece goal.

“As the pressure came onto the game we’ve not been able to handle that and execute in terms of our final third play from that moment on.”

Taylor also explained that defender Jack Hunt had been sick on the pitch before being substituted in the 25th minute with a suspected concussion.

Taylor felt that Chris Martin was harshly shown a second yellow card in the third minute of second half stoppage time as a late melee broke out between the two sides.

“If he’s sent off then several other players should have been too,” added Taylor.

Fleetwood boss Charlie Adam is refusing to get carried away with the upturn in his side’s results.

“We were pleased. To come away from home we knew what Bristol Rovers were going to give us, after their back-to-back wins,” he said.

“They’re in good form. We knew we had to defend the box well the whole night. We’re delighted but it’s just three points and we’ll look forward to Saturday.

“I’m delighted with the clean sheet and I believe our performances will get us the wins. I keep saying that. We’ve been in five or six games, but I’ve felt the performances were getting better and better. The last two-and-a-half games have been really, really good.

“If we keep clean sheets with what we have in the attacking part of the pitch then we’ll keep causing teams problems.”

Ronan Coughlan and Jayden Stockley were again on target as Fleetwood continued their League One survival mission with a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers.

Coughlan grabbed his second goal in two games and Jayden Stockley his third in three as Charlie Adam’s side claimed a second consecutive victory, leaving them six points from safety.

Former Rovers academy player Ryan Broom swung over a deep cross in the 20th minute that eventually fell to Carl Johnston on the opposite flank, for the Northern Irishman to centre again. Stockley then cleverly headed back for Coughlan to swivel in the area and give the visitors a deserved lead.

Stockley doubled the lead when he headed in a Gavin Kilkenny corner, rising unmarked in the area after 52 minutes.

Chris Martin might have converted a low Antony Evans cross after 10 minutes for the home side, but Jay Lynch saved at close range, while winger Luke Thomas spurned a good chance when he collected an Evans back-heel but could not convert after half an hour.

Lynch saved from substitute John Marquis with seven minutes remaining to extinguish any late hope for the hosts, as Martin was sent off for a second yellow card in second-half stoppage time to add to Rovers’ woes.

Charlie Adam’s first home game in charge of Fleetwood ended with a 3-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Derby.

The former Scotland international has lost his first two matches, after defeat by the same scoreline at Shrewsbury on New Year’s Day, with his bottom side now winless in nine league games.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and James Collins did the majority of the damage in the first-half at Highbury.

Jayden Stockley pulled one back but Tom Barkhuizen sealed a vital three points in County’s promotion push in stoppage time.

Josh Earl squandered a great early chance for the hosts when he nodded wide.

Winger Mendez-Laing used his pace to get in behind and neatly slot home the opener in the 27th minute.

He almost made it two minutes later as he fired wide before Collins bagged a 16th goal of the season with a glancing header from Conor Hourihane’s corner at the near post.

After a poor spell, Stockley gave the hosts a glimmer as he converted Shaun Rooney’s deadly cross with 15 minutes to go.

But Barkhuizen sealed a fifth straight away win for the Rams with his late strike.

Former Dundee skipper Charlie Adam played a key role in their latest signing after informing Burnley winger Marcel Lewis he was on his way to Dens Park.

Boyhood Dundee fan Adam is Burnley’s loan manager and helped secure a deal for the 21-year-old former Chelsea youth player.

After his first training session, Lewis told Dundee’s website: “Charlie Adam at Burnley gave me a phone and said I was coming up to Dundee which I was over the moon about.

“Charlie told me that the club is a great place to be with great players and a really good set-up.

“I want to get as many games as I can and pitch in with goals and assists to help the team.”

Lewis moved from Chelsea to Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and had a loan spell at Accrington before making a permanent switch to Burnley 12 months ago.

Manager Tony Docherty said: “He is a very productive attacking player who likes to drive at defenders.

“He is also a technically-gifted footballer, who has real ability on the ball and will help us be creative in that final third.

“He has been recommended by Jody Morris and Charlie Adam as an extremely-creative player and has been brought in to enhance an already-strong squad.

“Marcel gives us another young hungry player who wants to impress and prove himself in this league and I am delighted we have been able to bring him in.”

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