Carlisle United 1-3 Fleetwood Town: Saunders brace inspires comeback
The 2020/21 EFL Trophy got underway at Brunton Park (Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images)

A second-half brace from Harvey Saunders helped Fleetwood Town to a 3-1 win over Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy.

Debutant Gime Toure had put the Cumbrians ahead in the first half at Brunton Park before Callum Camps equalised before the break.

  • Story of the match

Toure marks his debut

An eventful first half saw plenty of chances for both sides, with the hosts taking the lead after 36 minutes.

Midfielder Jacob Mellish connected with an incoming corner and headed the ball towards the back post for Toure to flick it over the line and score his first goal for the club.

Back level before the break

But Fleetwood were level just a minute before the break as Danny Andrew was played through down the left, and the midfielder's cross was met by the onrushing Camps who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Paul Farman.

Saunders heads Fleetwood in front

The visitors started strongly in the second half and got themselves in front on 57 minutes.

Connecting with Paul Coutts' cross, Saunders arrived at the back post with a diving header to also score his first goal for the club.

Saunders gets his second

And the new Fleetwood forward had his second just ten minutes later, rising highest at Andrew's cross and heading past Farman.

Lapse of concentration

Despite starting the game well by opening the scoring on his debut for the Cumbrians, Toure will be disappointed with how he ended it.

After appearing to kick out at Fleetwood full-back Wes Burns, the Frenchman was shown a straight red card by referee Benjamin Speedie.

  • Match Stats

Carlisle United 1-3 Fleetwood Town

Carlisle United

Farman, Tanner, McDonald, Hayden, Anderton, Riley, Devine (Furman, 45'), Mellish, Reilly, Alessandra, Toure

Unused subs: Dewhurst, Hunt, Charters, Furman, Birch, Armstrong, Bell

Fleetwood Town

Coleman, Burns, Hill, Holgate, Andrew, Camps (Johnston, 76') Coutts, Whelan (Matete, 70'), Saunders, J.Morris, Garner (Evans, 70')

Unused subs: Cairns, Baggley, Rydel, S.Morris

  • Takeaways

Tough first test

A tough first test for Chris Beech's side against one of last season's League One play-off semi-finalists and this season's promotion contenders.

The Carlisle boss named seven debutants in a starting eleven which will take time to gel, so he shouldn't be too disappointed with a performance which saw 14 shots and an even share of possession. 

Comeback inspires victory

Joey Barton should be particularly pleased with his side's second-half performance in which they turned the game around.

An impressive performance from Harvey Saunders was key in his side's comeback, with the forward scoring his first two goals for the club and giving his manager something to think about for his team selection against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.