Meet Blues' opposition, Fleetwood: Tough nuts to crack and a summer fun town for John Lennon

A general view outside of Highbury Stadium before the Sky Bet League One match at the Highbury Stadi

Fleetwood come to Portman Road this weekend - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town play their final League One game of the season tomorrow, against Fleetwood Town at Portman Road, 12 noon kick-off. MIKE BACON takes a look at the opposition.

TOUGH NUTS FLEETWOOD

Fleetwood Town are proving tough nuts to crack.

Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Milton Keynes Dons was boss Simon Grayson's 20th match in charge since arriving at Highbury at the end of January.

Fleetwood Town's Callum Camps celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second goal during t

Fleetwood Town's Callum Camps celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's second goal during the League One match at Lincoln, where Fleetwood won 2-0 - Credit: PA

His team have performed solidly at the back in that time, conceding only 20 goals – five of those in one game at Burton Albion two weeks ago.

Only three sides in League One have conceded fewer goals than Fleetwood's 43 this season – champions Hull City (37) and top-six duo Blackpool (37) and Sunderland (41).

Ipswich have conceded 45.

Fleetwood Town take the lead against Ipswich

Fleetwood Town take the lead against Ipswich as Callum Connolly heads home when the two sides met back in March - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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LAST TIME

Fleetwood extended their impressive run under, then new boss, Grayson as they saw off Ipswich 2-0 back in March.

Callum Connolly and Gerard Garner were on target for the hosts as they stretched their unbeaten run to six matches.

Fleetwood went in front in the ninth minute when skipper Connolly rose highest to head home direct from James Hill's long throw-in.

The second goal arrived in the 57th minute as Garner fired home left-footed from 18 yards after meeting Vassell's tidy pass.

spor

Joyous scenes as Town's U18s go through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. Here the team celebrate their late, late winner. - Credit: Ross Halls

YOUNG GUNS EXCELLING

Both Ipswich and Fleetwood currently have a good crop of U18 players.

Ipswich are in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, where they will meet Liverpool next week, while Fleetwood's U18s have been crowned champions of the EFL North West Youth Alliance.

ED SHERAN is Town's new shirt sponsor

Fleetwood still have one game to play in their season but can no longer be caught after leap-frogging Carlisle United and Rochdale to take top spot.

The Cod Army have won the division despite opposition from Championship Preston North End and a host of other League One and League Two clubs, including local rivals Blackpool.

Fleetwood Town's manager Simon Grayson during the Sky Bet League One match at the LNER Stadium, Linc

Fleetwood Town's manager Simon Grayson during the Sky Bet League One match at the LNER Stadium, Lincoln. Picture date: Tuesday March 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

THE BOSS

Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson was a right back as a player, in a near 20-year career that saw him begin at Leeds, before playing in the Premier League for Leicester, Villa and Blackburn.

As a manager, he started out at Fleetwood's neighbours, Blackpool, before managing Leeds United for four seasons where he had much success.

The Elland Road club were in League One when he took over in 2008 and he guided them into the Championship two seasons later.

However, he couldn't get them into the Premiership and although he had a win ratio of almost 50% while boss at Leeds, he was dismissed in February 2012. A move to Preston saw him guide the Lilywhites into the Championship, but interest from Sunderland saw him join them in 2017.

That never worked out and after short spells at Bradford and Blackpool, again, he finds himself at Fleetwood. 

The Beatles at a recording session in London. (l-r) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and

The Beatles at a recording session in London. (l-r) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. *12/08/2000 The 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death was being commemorated Friday December 8th, 2000, with a blue plaque unveiled at his suburban childhood home. Lennon lived at the small semi-detached house in Woolton, Liverpool, from the age of five until 1963, when the 23-year-old achieved worldwide fame with the Beatles. * 12/11/2000: The band will unleash an album widely expected to become one of the biggest sellers of all time. With 80 minutes of music on it, the album, entitled 1, is the first collection of greatest hits they have released and comes three decades after the band split. * 30/11/2001: It has been announced, George Harrison, the Beatles' quiet lead guitarist and spiritual explorer has died, a longtime family friend told The Associated Press. Harrison, who wrote While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes the Sun, was 58. - Credit: PA

DID YOU KNOW?

When young, John Lennon spent his childhood summer holidays in Fleetwood with a cousin who lived in the town, returning to the town in August 1962 when the Beatles played at the Marine Hall.