Report: Fleetwood Town 1-1 RochdaleChris Maxwell secured Town a late point against Rochdale at Highbury, saving a stoppage time penalty from Ian Henderson following a Jamille Matt equaliser.
After an uneventful first half, it was Keith Hill’s side that opened the scoring ten minutes into the second half as Peter Vincenti headed a Henderson cross.
Matt, coming off the bench as he did a fortnight ago against Colchester, rose to head in fellow sub Bobby Grant’s corner with just three minutes remaining, scoring in his second successive Highbury outing.
Maxwell though was the hero late on, diving low to his left to keep out Henderson after Eggert Jonsson had brought down Vincenti.
Ahead of kick-off manager Graham Alexander made two changes from last weekend’s defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
Victor Nirennold was handed his Town debut with Conor McLaughlin away on international duty, while Jonsson returned from injury in place of Stephen Jordan.
During a first period in which both sides were looking to assert themselves, chances were at a premium with both limited to shots from range.
Tyler Forbes and Jimmy Ryan both hit low efforts narrowly wide of Josh Lillis’ right hand post before Calvin Andrew and Andy Cannon saw efforts miss the target for the visitors.
With Rochdale enjoying increasing amounts of possession, Ryan was key sitting in front of the Town backline intercepting passes before breaking out of the midfield himself and drilling a shot into the side netting.
Into the second half and Town started sharper with Jamie Proctor having an appeal for a penalty turned down before Dale looked to spring the counter-attack.
McDermott looked to thread in Vincenti on the right but he was well tracked by Amari’i Bell who was able to intercept.
Moments later David Ball ran at the visitors’ backline before putting a low drive into the hands of Lillis before Forbes shot wide after cutting infield.
It was Dale though who took the lead as Henderson latched onto a quick throw before teeing up Vincenti at the back post.
Town almost hit back with an immediate response with 58 minutes played as Bell found Jamie Proctor eight yards from goal but his header could only find the gloves of Lillis.
It was to be Ball’s last contribution as he was replaced by Matt shortly after the hour mark.
With 71 minutes on the clock, Proctor was the width of the post away from bringing Town level.
Ryan hit an effort from the edge of the area following a corner which ricocheted to Proctor who beat Lillis but not the upright having got the ball out of his feet.
Following the chance the ex-Crawley striker made way for Grant while Nick Haughton came on in place of Antoni Sarcevic.
Matt’s introduction looked to have paid dividends with 11 to play as he met a Forbes cross with the back-tracking Lillis somehow able to palm the ball over.
With the full-time whistle approaching Matt was not to be denied, jumping highest to head in Grant’s corner before Maxwell ensured the point was safe late on with his stoppage time penalty heroics.
The point keeps the Cod Army ninth ahead of next weekend’s visit of Bradford.