Late punch earns Burton replay
Fleetwood will face an FA Cup Second Round replay at Burton Albion after Jeff Hughes’ late header was cancelled out by Billy Kee.
Hughes looked to have sent the Cod Army into the glamorous third round with a header from Junior Brown’s corner in the final ten minutes, but Brewers substitute Kee salvaged his side a replay in injury time.
Gareth Evans had earlier struck a thumping effort against the visitors’ post, but Town will have to go again at the Pirelli Stadium in due course.
Graham Alexander made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Oxford United last weekend. Matty Blair came in for Steven Schumacher in midfield, while Nathan Tyson dropped out at Blackpool’s request with Jon Parkin his replacement.
Both sides paid their respects to the late Nelson Mandela with a minute’s applause before kick-off, and with a place in the FA Cup Third Round at stake, Town were also looking to avenge their 3-2 defeat to the Brewers earlier in the season.
However, it was the visitors who created the first opening when Rene Howe pulled the ball back for Alex MacDonald on the edge of the box, before the midfielder’s side-footed effort flew over Scott Davies’ crossbar.
Town responded, though, as Antoni Sarcevic went close with a curling effort off his left foot from the edge of the area, forcing Burton goalkeeper Dean Lyness into a diving save at his right-hand post.
Cod Army keeper Davies was also called into action, when he saved low from Adam McGurk’ attempt from the right, before McGurk crossed for Chris Hussey, who was free in space at the far left post, but Hussey somehow blazed over under no pressure.
Chances were few and far between before half-time, Parkin and Stewart Murdoch both sent efforts off target, but the biggest worry was for Burton’s McGurk, who was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Kee before the end of a goalless first half.
Gary Rowett’s side nearly caught Fleetwood cold at the start of the second period, when Howe’s powerful low strike from the edge of the box was pushed around the left post by Davies at full stretch.
However, it was Town who came closest to breaking the deadlock, when Evans unleashed a 30-yard piledriver from the centre of the field which came back off Lyness’ left post with the keeper beaten.
It was the best chance either side created until the final ten minutes, when Hughes stepped to the forefront.
With 82 minutes of the clock, Hughes fired a powerful low volley towards Lyness’ bottom right corner, and the Brewers keeper pulled of a reaction save at full stretch to tip it around the post.
But, from the resulting corner, substitute Junior Brown’s in-swinger from the right was met by the head of Hughes, who had beat his marker, and the ball flew into the back of Burton’s net.
However, the Brewers salvaged a replay in injury time when substitute Kee drilled low past Davies at his near post from the right to set up a second contest at the Pirelli Stadium.
FLEETWOOD TEAM: Davies, McLaughlin, Pond, Roberts, Taylor, Blair, Murdoch, Hughes, Evans (Crowther), Sarcevic (Brown), Parkin
UNUSED SUBS: Lucas, Hogan, Cresswell, Schumacher, Dieseruvwe
BURTON TEAM: Lyness, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory, MacDonald (Phillips), Weir, Bell, Hussey, McGurk (Kee), Howe (Knowles)
UNUSED SUBS: Siegrist, Diamond, Dyer, Palmer