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Match Reports

Report: Win over Millwall confirms a place in the playoffs

17 April 2017

Davies goal enough for all three points

Fleetwood Town secured a place in the Sky Bet League One play-offs, with a hard earned 1-0 win over Millwall at Highbury.

 

Ben Davies scored the game's only goal with a header on the stroke of half time as goalkeeper Alex Cairns pulled off a string of magnificent second half saves to deny the visitors.

 

Uwe Rosler made two changes to the side that won at Peterborough on Friday, as Cameron Brannagan and Wes Burns came in for Kyle Dempsey and Ashley Hunter.

 

It was Millwall who made all of the early running and they came close to taking the lead in the 4th minute, when Ben Thompson’s low shot almost trickled all the way into the far corner.

 

The ball came off the post and straight into the path of Lee Gregory who forced Cairns into a fine reaction save from eight yards.

 

Just two minutes later, Cairns was back in action when he pushed Steve Morison’s shot past the post, before successive Millwall corners led to free headers which went narrowly wide as the Highbury crowd tried to rally their side into action.

 

It seemed to work as David Ball’s persistent run caused havoc in the Millwall defence and a mix up between goalkeeper Tom King and Byron Webster, could easily have led to a free kick for a back pass, referee John Brooks waved away the Fleetwood appeals.

 

In the 22nd minute, Millwall struck the post again, after a lightning counter attack, Jed Wallace cut a ball back for Gregory who had the entire goal to aim for but clipped his effort of the post and away from danger as yellow shirts flooded the box.

 

Just after the half hour came Fleetwood’s best spell of the match, that started with Grant’s curling free kick being beaten away with a strong hand from King.

 

Conor McLaughlin’s ball into the box was punched high into the air from King and almost dropped for the returning Burns, who was waiting to pounce on the goal line, and from the resulting corner Davies nodded a header just wide.

 

But right on the stroke of half time, the defender had another chance from a clipped free kick into the box, and this time he steered it into the bottom corner to give Town the lead at the break.

 

The first action of the second half came from a jinking Burns run, the lively forward forced King into pushing the ball out into a packed box, which fell safe before it was hooked away by substitute Jake Cooper.

 

As Millwall broke down the opposite end, a Davies clearance fell to Gregory who was bearing down on an open goal but the defender recovered superbly to block his on target effort with a last ditch slide.

 

McLaughlin’s clever cut back gifted the Grant a chance to spin and shoot but his effort went straight into the arms of King, before his opposite number Cairns, produced an outstanding one handed save from Cooper as his powerful header was heading for the top corner.

 

With six minutes remaining, the magnificent Cairns pulled off another save, this time denying Gregory who met a ball at the near post and thought he’d found the bottom corner but for the goalkeepers sprawling dive.

 

Town’s defence saw out the remaining minutes, thanks to a huge effort from the defensive unit to preserve their clean sheet and claim a massive three points.

 

Fleetwood: Cairns (GK); McLaughlin, Pond ©, Eastham, Davies, Bell (Nirennold 56’); Brannagan (Schwabl 86’), Glendon, Grant; Ball, Burns (Dempsey 61’).

Subs: Urwin (GK); Davis, Hunter, Woolford.

 

Millwall: King (GK); Martin (Ferguson 77’), Hutchinson (Cooper 46’), Williams, Thompson (Butcher 82’), Gregory, Romeo, Wallace, Webster, Morison ©, O’Brien.

Subs: Archer (GK), Cummings, Worrall, Onyedinma.

 

Referee: Mr J Brooks.


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