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20 January 2018 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Match preview: Fleetwood v Blackburn

19 January 2018

It has been an unforgettable week for everyone associated with Fleetwood Town as they bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup proudly, after a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City, but attentions now turn back to league action as Blackburn Rovers visit Highbury this Saturday.

Rovers have been the form team in Sky Bet League One in recent months, having not lost in the league since the 14th October. Last time out, they beat fellow promotion candidates Shrewsbury Town 3-1 at Ewood Park as they stake their claim for a spot in the Championship next season.

Uwe Rosler said…

"Tomorrow there is more pressure than the Leicester game, because it's a league game. It's a key game for us, and I look forward to seeing how the whole squad functions.

"It will be a big ask for us. They have had a free week and we have already played 38-39 games this season.

“They have the advantage, but that doesn't mean they will win the game. I'm looking forward to the game.”

Tony Mowbray said…

“It’s another huge challenge – it’s always tough going there.

“We saw their performance against Leicester in the cup; we have to acclimatise and make sure we match their drive to come out on top.

"We've created competition with a few new faces in the building and whilst it's Saturday to Saturday, there's no excuses of fatigue or tiredness.

"They are ready to go and we are looking forward to the challenge."

The Form Guide

Fleetwood’s spirited defeat at the King Power on Tuesday was their first in four games in all competitions, and form has improved since the Boxing Day at Oldham Athletic.

Blackburn have lost just twice since October, to Hull City in the FA Cup and Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy, and are unbeaten in 15 league games.

Fleetwood Last Five: LDWWL

Rovers Last Five: WDDLW

We’ve Met Before

The first ever league meeting between Fleetwood and Blackburn took place on Halloween last year, as Town came from behind twice to hold the former Premier League Champions to a 2-2 draw at Ewood Park.

After Bradley Dack had opened the scoring, Burnley loanee Aiden O’Neill equalised for the Cod Army, but Joe Nuttall soon had Rovers back in front. A late leveler from Wes Burns sealed a famous point for Rosler’s men.

One To Watch

The top scorer for Tony Mowbray’s side is former Celtic and current Scotland international defender Charlie Mulgrew. Able to play in several positions, Mulgrew has 11 goals for Rovers this season, adding to his tally of three from last season at Ewood Park.

Originally a product of Celtic’s youth system, the Glasgow native had spells with Wolves, Dundee United, Southend United and Wolves before re-signing for the Bhoys in 2010, where he made over a century of appearances in his six-year spell including in the UEFA Champions League. Rovers snapped him up in the summer of 2016 where he has since become one of the fan favourites amongst the Blackburn faithful.

Fancy a Flutter?

League partner Sky Bet have released their odds for Saturday’s game, and make Blackburn slight favourites at 21/20.

A Fleetwood Town win is priced at 14/5, while a draw comes in a 9/4.

The last meeting between the sides finished 2-2 and a repeat of that can be selected at 18/1, while a 2-1 win for Fleetwood is available at 12/1. The same score the other way is 8/1.

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Match Reports

Report: Spirited Fleetwood suffer narrow defeat to high flying Blackburn

20 January 2018

A valiant second half effort from Fleetwood Town wasn’t enough as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers led at half time through a Bradley Dack strike, but Town dominated the second half and deservedly leveled through Conor McAleny’s first goal since the opening day of the season.

Cruelly though, a moment of magic from Richard Smallwood won the game for the high-flying visitors just seven minutes from time.

Uwe Rosler made three changes to the side that faced Southend United in Town’s last Sky Bet League One, with Paddy Madden and Gethin Jones being handed their first starts and home league debuts, with Ashley Eastham also returning to the starting line up. Those three replaced the Amari’i Bell, who was coincidentally transferred to Blackburn on Friday, George Glendon, and Ashley Hunter. Toumani Diagouraga was also handed his first Highbury appearance.

Blackburn were unbeaten in 15 league games, and started well on top as Dominic Samuel flashed an early shot just wide of Chris Neal’s post.

Devante Cole came close to creating a chance, as a nice ball from Madden found its way to the striker, and while his touch was slightly too heavy, it did show Fleetwood’s capabilities of disrupting Rovers’ back line.

The visitors were causing problems at the back for Rosler’s side, and after a spell of penalty area pinball as the ball was played in and then cleared numerous times, Blackburn had the ball in the net. Much to the pleasure of all of a red persuasion though, the linesman ruled Dack’s header offside.

Blackburn then struck the bar from a corner as Derrick Willams connected with a Charlie Mulgrew corner and came close again as Danny Graham had his header saved by Neal.

The away side were dominant, and took a deserved lead almost half an hour in as Graham played a smart ball into Dack, who slotted past Neal for 1-0.

Town had a good chance to level imminently from a dead ball situation, as Kyle Dempsey’s swung a free kick into the penalty area. Cian Bolger rose the highest, but his looping header was narrowly over.

Rovers’ attacking prowess was proving difficult for Town to deal with, and they continued to knock on the door for a second deep into the first half.

Crosses into the box seemed to be Blackburn’s chosen method of attack, with numerous balls causing trouble for Rosler’s defence.

It was Ryan Nyambe’s in the 43rd minute that was the most worrying for Fleetwood though, as a failed clearance by Bolger saw him scuff it and the ball loop across the face of Neal’s goal. Fortunately for Town, it went out of play.

Rosler made two changes at the break, as McAleny and Glendon replaced Cole and Markus Schwabl.

Town showed signs of improvements after these changes, and could have been level had the combination of a David Raya wonder save and the offside flag not denied Madden from just a few yards out.

Blackburn were still showing signs of life though and could have scored again just moments after Madden’s chance when Graham forced Neal to tip the ball onto the post before Town cleared it away.

In a chaotic opening to the second half, Town found themselves level in dramatic circumstances as McAleny pounced on a terrible back pass from Mulgrew and rounded Raya to pass the ball into the open net. It was fine reward for Rosler who proved once again he can make the most of his substitutions. Honours were even and momentum was with Town.

Town should have been ahead when Lewie Coyle raced down the right before whipping the ball into Madden, but the Irishman’s leaping header was just wide of Raya’s post.

Once again there was another chance for Fleetwood as Glendon curled one in towards Wes Burns, who couldn’t quite connect at full stretch.

Town were starting to dominate when Dempsey fired his free kick at Raya, but the game was still hanging in the balance with 20 minutes remaining.

Hunter was brought on by Rosler in an attempt to change the game, and he had impact almost instantly as he twisted and turned on the edge of the box, before Glendon fired over from distance. It was a vast improvement on Town’s first half showing.

Madden was next to try his luck, as he turned and shot on the edge of the box, but he fired just wide of the mark.

On their second half showing Town did not deserve to lose, but much against the run of play Rovers scored a second with seven minutes remaining. Smallwood received the ball on the edge of the area and fired past Neal with an impressive strike.

It was harsh on Fleetwood, who had had the better of the game in the second period and were very unlucky not to have come away with more.

Fleetwood Town XI: Neal (GK), Coyle, Eastham, Dempsey, Burns, (Hunter), Bolger ©, Diagouraga, Madden, Jones, Schwabl (Glendon), Cole (McAleny).

Subs not used: Cairns (GK), Pond, Hiwula, Rodgers.

Blackburn Rovers XI: Raya (GK), Nyambe, Williams, Smallwood, Samuel (Nuttall), Graham (Payne), Mulgrew ©, Dack, Downing, Bennett, Conway (Armstrong).

Subs not used: Leutwiler (GK), Ward, Caddis, Travis.

Referee: Mr A Woolmer

 

Attendance: 4,391 

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Ticket News

Half Price Memberships on sale for Blackburn clash

17 January 2018

Fleetwood Town fans can take advantage of a great offer on memberships - with them priced at just £10 from Saturday 20th January.

This means as a non-member, you can buy a match ticket and a membership this weekend for just £27.

Steve Metcalf, Ticket Office Manager, added: "This is a fantastic offer for any fans that are thinking about becoming a part of the Fleetwood Town family.

"This is something that has worked well for us previously and we are looking forward to having more members sign up for the rest of the season."

As a member you can benefit from discounted match tickets, saving up to £5 every home game as well as priority tickets for derby matches and cup games.

To sign up, simply visit the club shop on Saturday, or for more details contact the ticket office on 01253 775080.

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