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01 January 2020 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

New Years Day Preview: Fleetwood v Sunderland

31 December 2019

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Fleetwood Town welcome Sunderland to Highbury Stadium on New Years Day for the first game of the decade, and we have all you need to know in our match preview.

Fixture: Fleetwood Town v Sunderland

Competition: Sky Bet League One

Date: Wednesday 1 January 2020

Kick-off: 15:00

Venue: Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 6TX.

Match officials: Anthony Backhouse (Referee) Steven Rushton & Richard Bartlett (Assistants) David Richardson (Fourth Official)

This will be the first game Anthony Backhouse takes charge of with Fleetwood involved since Town’s 1-0 away win at Accrington Stanley last season. Harry Souttar scored the only goal of the game that afternoon.

The Englishman has officiated 18 matches this season, whilst handing out 61 yellow cards and just the two red cards – one being in his last Sky Bet League One fixture between Accrington and Bolton Wanderers.

Anthony Backhouse Referee.jpg


The Cod Army are back at home for the second time in four days, and will be taking many positive away after their impressive display against Bristol Rovers in the final game of the decade. The match finished 0-0, but Fleetwood did have the ball in the back of the net, however it was ruled out due to an offside.

Fleetwood sit 8th in the table and 8 points better off compared to 12 months ago, and have two more home games to go with Portsmouth in the Emirates FA Cup and Accrington Stanley in the Trophy. 

Town are four games unbeaten now and will be looking to take their run of form into the big tie against the Black Cats, where the club beat Sunderland 2-1 in their last meeting with Ashley Eastham scoring the winner late in injury time.

Team Picture.JPG


Sunderland rounded off 2019 with a win when goals from Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire proved to be decisive at Doncaster Rovers last Sunday.

Gooch scored a fine effort from distance after quick thinking from Maguire before Jon Taylor pulled one back against the run of play.

The win gives Sunderland a slight reprieve after a frustrating run of games has seen them slide down the League One table. However, it’s meant the Black Cats remain unbeaten in three matches as they look to climb back into promotion contention.

Sunderland Team News.jpg


One for Town fans to keep an eye out for on Wednesday is playmaker, Chris Maguire. The Black Cats danger man has scored seven goals in 26 appearances in all competitions.

Maguire scored in Sunderland 2-1 away win at Doncaster on Sunday, and will be looking to reach double figures this campaign after just missing out last season.

The 30-year-old started off his career at Aberdeen back in 2005, where he moved down South across the border to Derby County for a fee of £400,000. With a loan spell at Portsmouth, he signed for Sheffield Wednesday – where he played just under 100 matches, scoring 20 goals.

Chris Maguire.jpg


If you can’t make Wednesday’s game, then we’ve got you covered as you can watch and listen to the full match live on iFollow.

Supporters in the U.K and overseas will be able to live stream the Sunderland game for just £10!

Buy your Video Match Pass today!

If you want to know more about iFollow, and find out ways to support the Cod Army, click HERE. (terms and conditions)

Any further questions on iFollow Fleetwood, please contact

20200101 - Sunderland HOME iFollow Match (Twitter).jpg


Joey Barton spoke to the media following Town’s goalless draw with Bristol Rovers:

“We played well against Rotherham and probably should have won. Then we won at Rochdale and should have won today against Bristol Rovers so it’s really good signs, especially being four unbeaten.

“We want to win more games obviously, but we are now just starting to show just what a good side we are at this point in the season. The table doesn’t lie anymore and as a team, we are moving in the right direction. The key is that we need to put teams to the sword when we are so much better than them.”



" When you don’t win for a while, the pressure builds because football is about winning. We have had to remain focused on the process because you need to tick a number of boxes to enable you to get back on track and get the results.

“We have spoken about what we have done well lately and what we need to improve on. We accept the criticism when we don’t win a game. We felt we should’ve won our Boxing Day game, but we didn’t.

“We responded in the right manner at Doncaster Rovers in front of a fantastic 4,000 fans. I have got to say it, but they were really like the 12th man and they responded to what they saw on the pitch.

“They got right behind the lads from the first minute to the last and now it’s about continuing that good work on New Year’s Day at Fleetwood Town.”

Phil Parkinson SUNDERLAND manager.jpg


Tickets for the match on New Years Day will remain on sale until kick-off. Supporters will be able to buy theirs at the Club Shop at Highbury or down at the club’s training ground at Poolfoot Farm.

Fans can also purchase their tickets online HERE, or head down to the ground on the day of the game – prices are as followed:

Adults - £24

Seniors & Under 25s - £19

Under 16s - £9 

If you require further details on tickets, please contact the Ticket Office on 01253 775080, or visit the Club Shop prior the match.



You can get a price of 6/5 for Town to pick up all three points against Sunderland

If you think Joey Barton’s side will win and BTTS you can get odds of 9/2.

For Fleetwood to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, the odds are boosted to 2/1.

Here are some odds of players to score first or last:

Paddy Madden: 7/2

Ched Evans: 9/2

Josh Morris: 11/2

Wes Burns: 17/2

Paul Coutts: 28/1

For more odds on SkyBet, click here. Please remember to bet and gamble responsibly.

20200101 - Sunderland Betting Graphic1 (Twitter).jpg

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Match Reports

Report: Points shared with Sunderland on New Year's Day

1 January 2020

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Fleetwood Town picked up a battling point on New Year's Day after drawing 1-1 with Sunderland at Highbury Stadium.

Ched Evans was the man to get the Cod Army up and running in 2020 with his eighth goal of the season, after Josh Morris was fouled inside the Black Cats’ penalty area.

The away side had their fair share of chances throughout the match, and equalised in the last ten minutes from the spot through Chris Maguire.

Despite Sunderland dominating the ball, it was a fair contest between the two sides with both sharing the points on the Fylde Coast.

Paddy Madden had a chance to open the scoring inside the first two minutes. After a delicious ball through from Lewie Coyle, the forward’s effort went narrowly over the crossbar.

Sunderland didn’t take long either to register their first shot of the match, and shortly after, Maguire’s fierce shot flew low and again just wide of Alex Cairns’ far post.

After a bright opening to the game, the home side took the lead from the penalty spot! Morris was fouled inside the 18 yard box, with the referee Mr. Backhouse having no option but to point to the spot.

Evans stepped up and placed the ball in the bottom left corner, after he sent Jon McLaughlin the wrong way.

Moments after the opener, the visitors could have been level. Denver Hume cut the ball back in space for Lynden Gooch, whose effort went wide of the initial target.

From the following goal-kick, the hosts had a chance to double their lead. Madden showed incredible trickery to beat his mana before he set up Evans, but the striker’s effort was blocked by Alim Ozturk.

After an unusual quiet spell for both sides, it was the away side who picked up the tempo. Wyke collected the ball on the edge of the area and sent a looping effort goal bound, but Cairns did well to tip it over his bar for a corner!

Sunderland had another chance not long after to be level, but Cairns pulled off a fantastic save down low to his left hand side. Somehow Town’s number one diverted Maguire’s powerful low shot wide of the post, which was the last main focal point of an end to end first half.

Sunderland came out in the second half with more fighting spirit, and should have levelled the deficit only three minutes into the restart.

Luke O’Nein floated in a cross from the right, before Wyke’s effort crashed against the inside of the post. A glorious chance for Phil Parkinson’s side.

After Town weathered a storm from Sunderland, two chances in quick succession arrived for the hosts.

Firstly, a good counter attacking move led from midfield allowed Madden in - who forced a smart stop from McLaughlin, but the move was cancelled out due to the assistant’s flag for offside. Then, from a corner, Andrew’s back post volley was saved well by the goalkeeper to keep the deficit to one.

Andrew again was involved in Town’s attacking plays, and when the former Doncaster man found an inch of space to shoot, his powerful strike was palmed away by McLaughlin.

In what had been an even game, the visitors again should have scored. O’Nein managed to send the ball over the bar from close range after Gooch had put the ball on a plate. Were Sunderland to rue missing their opportunities?

As the contest approached the final hurdle, Fleetwood had another chance to double their lead. Evans pulled the trigger, and with his shot arrowing goal-wards, Joel Lynch made a great block to deny the Welshman.

Soon after, the biggest chance yet for the away side came after substitute Duncan Watmore was bundled over in the area, and a penalty was given.

The spot kick was calmly converted by Maguire into the top left corner, despite Cairns getting a hand to the effort.

At the death, there was a golden opportunity for Fleetwood to steal the points. After a scramble in the Sunderland penalty area, Madden Harry Souttar’s flick-on wide of goal. That would have been the winner with seconds left on the clock.

The referee did blow for full-time after four additional minutes were played, meaning both sides begin the year with a point a piece.

The Cod Army now turn their attention to FA Cup action on Saturday, as fellow Sky Bet League One side Portsmouth are the visitors to Highbury in the Third Round of the competition.

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Andrew, Eastham, Souttar, Burns, Dempsey, Evans (Saunders 79’), Morris (Sowerby 46’), Coutts © (Biggins 82’), Madden.

Subs not used: Crellin (GK), McAleny, Hill, Garner.

Sunderland XI: J. McLaughlin (GK), Ozturk, Willis (Watmore 67’), Lynch, Hume, Power, Dobson (McNulty 78’), O’Nien, Maguire, Gooch, Wyke.

Subs not used: Burge (GK), C. McLaughlin, Flanagan, Grigg, Leadbitter.

Attendance: 4,011

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