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20 March 2018 Venue Crown Oil Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Rochdale v Fleetwood Town

20 March 2018

Fleetwood will look to improve on three straight draws as they travel to Spotland to face Rochdale this Tuesday.

The trip to Spotland is a relatively short one in comparison to Town’s last away game at Charlton and is a rearranged fixture after last month’s original match was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. 

Rochdale drew 1-1 with fellow Sky Bet League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, with Tuesday clash a proverbial six pointer in the bottom half of the table.

John Sheridan said…

“They’re a good team. I get on well with Keith [Hill] and I’ve always liked the way he gets his team playing. They have some good young players and he gives those youngsters a chance as well. I’m very surprised they’ve ended up near the bottom but they’re there for a reason.

“We’ve got to go there and make sure we compete, because if we let them play, I think they are actually one of the best teams in the league on their day. We’re confident in ourselves, we’re unbeaten in three, so that’s the way I’ve looked at it since I’ve come in. I’m pleased with the way things are going and it’s just about that next game.”

Keith Hill said…

“We’ve had 14 clean sheets in the league this season, so if we remain reasonably tight, we’ve got to convert our opportunities. That’s whether you’re a central defender in a goal scoring position, or a right-back or a left-back, because the onus can’t just be on Ian Henderson.

“There can be no pressure – you’ve just got to get on with your work and do what you need to do, and the pressure will take care of itself. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no pressure on these players. Most of the footballing world have already written us off so we’re not fighting anything accept ourselves.”

Form Guide

Town have drawn their last three games in the league, with John Sheridan having steadied the ship ahead of three crucial games in the league, starting on Tuesday.

Rochdale have improved lately, since being dumped out of the cup at by Tottenham Hotspur, having drawn two and won two of their last four games in the league. They are five points from safety but do have three games in hand over their closest rivals.

Rochdale last five: LWWDD

Fleetwood last five: LLDDD

We’ve Met Before

It was a feisty encounter the last time the two sides met. The 2-2 draw at Highbury was marred by the controversial late dismissal of Wes Burns, which was eventually overturned. Ash Eastham had given Town the lead before Brad Inman and Ian Henderson put Rochdale ahead. Devante Cole salvaged a point with an 83rd minute equaliser.

In the previous eleven matches, there had been four draws, four Rochdale wins, and three for Fleetwood.

One to Watch

Ian Henderson is a fan’s favourite amongst the Rochdale faithful, having been at the club since 2013. With almost 200 appearances in a blue shirt, he’s scored 62 goals in his time at Spotland. Henderson was a product of the Norwich City youth system and 58 appearances for their first team between 2002-2007. From here, via a loan spell at Rotherham, he signed for Northampton, then Luton. After a short spell in Turkey with Ankaragucu, Henderson returned to the UK to sign for Colchester United where he stayed for three years, making 118 appearances. From here, Rochdale signed him. He’s scored 13 goals for the Greater Manchester side this season so far.

Fancy a Flutter?

League partners Sky Bet have released their odds for Tuesday’s match, and have Fleetwood at 7/2 to take all three points at Spotland. The hosts are 17/20 with a draw at 12/5.

You can get odds of 80/1 for Ash Hunter to open the scoring with Town winning 2-1, while Paddy Madden to score first in a 2-0 comes in at 100/1.

A repeat score line of 2-2 that the two sides shared in the return fixture at Highbury is available at 18/1, while 1-1 is 5/1.

To score in the 90 minutes, Conor McAleny is 3/1, while Kyle Dempsey is 10/1 and Lewie Coyle at 33/1.

A full list of odds can be found at skybet.com. Please gamble responsibly.

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Match Reports

Report: Madden and Hiwula goals fire Town to victory at Rochdale

20 March 2018

Goals from Paddy Madden and Jordy Hiwula sealed Fleetwood’s first win since January after a fine second half performance against Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena.

After an even first half, Town asserted their dominance in the second as Madden struck home a rebound from a Kyle Dempsey shot. A fine finish from substitute Hiwula sealed the victory as the clock struck 90, to make it four unbeaten, with the win our first under John Sheridan. 

Sheridan made two changes to his side that faced Charlton on Saturday, with Nathan Pond and Conor McAleny coming into the starting XI, while Gethin Jones and Wes Burns missed out on starts. Harrison Biggins returned to the bench.

The game started as you’d expect a contest between two sides battling to stay above the dotted line to start, with neither team creating anything of note inside the opening ten minutes. It was very much a midfield battle early on, with both sides unable to carve out an elusive attack.

It was in fact nearly 20 minutes in when the first effort of the game was registered as Stephen Humphrys turned on the edge of the area and fired just over Alex Cairns’ net.

It was Humphrys again who was next to test Cairns, as his deflected effort fortunately looped comfortably into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Town were fortunate not to concede when Scott Wiseman forced his way into the area and flashed the ball across the face of goal. Luckily for Town, Cian Bolger’s touch took it away from goal and out for a corner, and not into the back of the net.

Rochdale went close again when Callum Camps swung a free kick into the area, and Ryan Delaney hit it over under pressure from a melee of bodies.

Testament to the home side’s high line, it was in first half stoppage time that Fleetwood had their first effort of the match, as Paddy Madden tried his luck from distance on the volley after being threaded through on goal.

The hosts started the second half as they finished the first – in control. Their packed midfield was making it difficult for Town to cut through the middle.

Events were then marred when Rochdale’s Andrew Cannon was stretchered off after a lengthy stoppage after a collision with Jack Sowerby just outside the centre circle.

Shortly after, Town could have been ahead after a corner found Ash Eastham, but his downward header was saved by Josh Lillis to deny the defender a second goal against his former team this season.

This was a sign of things to come though, as Town took a dramatic lead when Madden smashed the ball home after a great drive into the box from Dempsey. Lillis saved Dempsey’s subsequent shot, but the Irishman was first to it, to calmly slot the Cod Army in front.

Substitute Mihail Dobre was quick out the blocks after being brought on by Keith Hill in an effort to salvage them a point, as he forced his way into the penalty area, before firing over Cairns’ goal.

The goal had certainly fired Fleetwood up as it was now far from one way traffic that we had seen earlier on in the game. With Town now able to venture further up field, Bobby Grant was brought on to aid the side in seeing the game out, replacing the goal scorer Madden.

The hosts were growing in confidence as they pained for an equaliser, leaving the game firmly in the balance with only stoppage time to play.

It was then time for Hiwula, brought on just fifteen minutes earlier by Sheridan, to seal the win for Town with a delightful goal as he raced the wing, cut inside and slot the ball under Lillis.

Eight minutes of stoppage time were shown, mainly thanks to the injury to Cannon, but Fleetwood could still not could not afford the luxury of sitting back, despite leading 2-0 in such a huge game. 

Rochdale pressed deep in injury time, but a fine all round performance from Fleetwood saw off the Greater Manchester side and meant a first win under the guidance of Sheridan was sealed.

Rochdale XI: Lillis (GK), McNulty, McGahey, Humphreys, Camps, Wiseman, Done, Delaney (Dobre), Cannon (Kitching), Knott (Inman), Henderson.

Subs not used: Rafferty, Rathbone, Davies, Moore,.

Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Eastham, Pond ©, Dempsey, McAleny (Hiwula), Bolger, Diagouraga, Madden (Grant), Hunter, Sowerby.

Subs not used: Neal (GK), Burns, Maguire, Glendon, Biggins.

Referee: T Kettle

Attendance: 2,403 (190)

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Ticket News

Support the Cod Army at Rochdale on Tuesday

Tickets and travel on sale for big game

18 March 2018

Tickets and coach travel are still on sale for Tuesday’s Sky Bet League One fixture at Rochdale.

Town are unbeaten under new head coach John Sheridan, and face Dale in a crucial game at the bottom end of the table.

FTFC supporters will be situated in the Willbutts Lane Stand at The Crown Oil Arena, with tickets priced as follows:

Adults - £22

Senior (65+) -£16

Young Person (21 & Under) - £16

Junior (16 & Under) - £5

Please note – if you purchased tickets or coach travel for the original match they are STILL valid for this fixture.

Coach travel can still be purchased, with coaches departing Highbury at 5:30pm, costing only £7 for all supporters.

To book tickets or travel for this game, call 01253 775080, or visit the club shop at Highbury Stadium.

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