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Match Reports

REPORT: Fleetwood Town 0-1 Town

1 April 2017

Town recorded a second successive victory and a huge three points earlier this afternoon after inflicting a 1-0 defeat on Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium.


There were plenty of chances in the first-half with the hosts having perhaps the better of them and Conor Thomas going closest for the Reds, but honours were even heading into half-time.


The Robins were the better side after the interval and they got their just rewards late on thanks to Nicky Ajose’s sublime finish.


Town opted to keep faith with the same Starting XI that defeated Millwall in dramatic fashion the week before, while Anton Rodgers, Ben Gladwin and Ellis Iandolo were all handed spots on the bench.


It was a massive game for both teams as Fleetwood looked to close the gap on the top two in League One and the Reds attempted to boost their survival hopes.


Fleetwood carved out the first half chance of the afternoon after Ashley Eastham’s header was comfortably saved by Lawrence Vigouroux, while Nicky Ajose’s deflected cross was cut out at the other end.


The hosts were enjoying the better of the opening exchanges and they came close on two occasions in quick succession with Cian Bolger glancing a header wide from David Ball’s free-kick, before Ashley Hunter planted a shot past the post.


It was then Town’s turn to attack with Jon Obika latching onto Nathan Thompson’s throw-in before turning his man and curling over the bar.


Vigouroux had to be alert just shy of the 20-minute mark after Hunter was played in by Kyle Dempsey, but the keeper was quick off his line to smother the pass at the second attempt.


It was Alex Cairns’ turn next to be called into action as he showed quick reflexes to bat away John Goddard’s dinked cross, with both sides playing some neat football.


Fleetwood were creating the better of the chances though but they were unable to find a clinical edge with Hunter skewing wide after being picked out by Ball who had beat the offside flag, while Bolger was again off-target with a header from a corner.


Hunter had another opportunity to fire his side into the lead but he could only curl inches wide, while Nicky Ajose latched onto Conor Thomas’ sublime pass but he was prevented from pulling the trigger.


Town then created their best chance of the half courtesy of Thomas, who was picked out by Charlie Colkett before seeing his firm drive tipped around the post by Cairns.


Both teams were playing with plenty of endeavour but neither could make the breakthrough with Hunter scuffing wide for the hosts, before the striker sent a shot inches past the far post in what was perhaps the best opportunity of the first-half.


There was time for one more opportunity with Vigouroux doing well to keep out George Glendon’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time.


Fleetwood came close to landing the first blow immediately after the restart, but Town eventually cleared their lines following a goalmouth scramble.


And the Reds were enraged moments later as Obika was bundled over inside the area, but the referee was quick to wave away the appeals.


The second-half was proving to be a scrappy affair with not much separating the two sides, although Fleetwood were continuing to carve out the better chances.


Bobby Grant’s effort from a tight ankle was smothered by Vigouroux and the Town keeper was called into action soon after to catch Ball’s strike.


 Town then opted to freshen things up with Ben Gladwin replacing John Goddard just shy of the 70-minute mark.


The change seemed to work with the Reds piling the pressure on as Obika’s strike was deflected out for a corner, which led to Gladwin’s venomous effort being blocked on route to goal after the midfielder was teed up by Thompson.


Town went closer moments later with Thomas only able to watch on as his strike was carried inches past the post via a deflection.


However, Town's pressure paid off with less than ten minutes remaining and they opened the scoring courtesy of Nicky Ajose.


Charlie Colkett sent the striker galloping towards goal and he kept his cool to plant a sublime effort into the bottom corner.


And that proved to be the winner with Town seeing the rest of the game out with ease to record a vital victory.


TEAMS AND STATS:


SCORERS - Nicky Ajose (81).


FLEETWOOD TOWN - Cairns; Eastham, Bolger, Davies; McLaughlin (C), Glendon, Dempsey, Grant, Bell (Joe Maguire 67); Hunter (Wes Burns 67), Ball (Cameron Brannagan 78).


Subs Not Used - Urwin, Pond, Nirennold, Woolford.


TOWN - Vigouroux; Thompson (C), Conroy, Rossi-Branco, Dabo; Ince Colkett, Goddard (Ben Gladwin 68), Thomas; Obika, Ajose (Luke Norris 90).


Subs Not Used - Henry, Brophy, Rodgers, Starkey, Iandolo.


Referee - David Webb


BOOKINGS:


FLEETWOOD TOWN - Ashley Hunter, Ben Davies.


TOWN - Raphael Rossi-Branco, Nathan Thompson, Rohan Ince.


ATTENDANCE - 3,128 (323 Town Fans). 


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