Fleetwood Town progressed to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, and set up a tie against former Premier League champions Leicester City after a comfortable 2-0 win at Hereford FC.
After a 1-1 draw in the original tie, a brace from captain Cian Bolger sealed the replay win with two almost identical goals, with George Glendon claiming both assists.
In a testing second half, Uwe Rosler’s side stood firm in front of a hostile crowd and could have perhaps won by a bigger margin when substitute Lewie Coyle hit the cross bar.
Rosler made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Wigan on Saturday, with Aiden O’Neill, Baily Cargill and Jordy Hiwula replacing Markus Schwabl, Nathan Pond and Kyle Dempsey in the starting line up.
The non-league side were boosted by a sell out crowd in front of their own fans at Edgar Street, and had the first effort of the game as Dara O’Shea drilled a low shot just wide of Alex Cairns’ net.
Town showed signs of intent as Jordy Hiwula reacted early to Devante Cole’s through ball to fire in, but the linesman adjudged Hiwula offside to deny the opening goal. Hiwula then fired wide from distance as Fleetwood began to show their attacking prowess.
Fleetwood’s good play eventually paid off as Cian Bolger leapt highest to connect to George Glendon’s corner and head the Cod Army in front and a step closer to the third round.
Rosler’s side looked good for their lead, and continued to attack well, until Hereford took advantage of an error by Cargill, but Keyon Reffell could only fire wide with only Cairns to beat.
The Bulls grew into the game, but Fleetwood still looked the more dangerous team on the counter, with Cargill almost making up for his mistake with a blasting shot from 30 yards, which skimmed just wide of the post. Ash Eastham then tried his luck as the ball fell to him on the edge of the area, but he also fired wide.
Hereford’s confidence rose close to half time, but Town defended well to clear a number of balls into the box, before Mike Symons headed wide.
The second half started with much the same tempo as the first, as the Cod Army looked dangerous. Cole broke loose on the right, with his over hit cross finding Hiwula, who won a free kick, before good Hereford defending cleared any danger.
Wes Burns caused trouble with his cross, which caused two Hereford defenders to go for the ball, forcing a corner. It was to be from this corner that Fleetwood doubled their advantage with the identical combination of a Glendon curler and a Bolger header producing the goods.
Hereford almost replied instantly as, after some smart play from Jimmy Oates on the left, Calvin Dinsley, who scored the goal at Highbury against Town in the original tie, fired over with a powerful drive.
They came close again through their top scorer John Mills, as his free kick hit the side netting from 25 yards.
Fleetwood were unlucky not to have put the tie to bed with a third goal when Coyle struck the bar from the edge of the area. As the rebounded to him after an Ash Hunter cross, Coyle took the ball first time but could only mark the woodwork.
Town had another good chance, again from a Hunter offload, as O’Neill flicked on his cross, but he couldn’t connect cleanly enough and his effort went over. Cole had a chance late on but Martin Horsell comfortably gathered.
The hosts battled until the end but were reduced to efforts from distance, as a Bolger-led back line remained firm to quell any potential danger from the Bulls.
Hereford XI: Horsell (GK), Oates ©, O’Shea, Murphy, Green, Deaman, Preen (Smith), Dinsley, Mills, Reffell, Symons.
Subs not used: Page, Preston, Haysham, Bird, Franklin, Harris (GK).
Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Bell, O’Neill, Eastham, Hiwula (Hunter), Burns (Cole), Bolger, Glendon (Schwabl), Sowerby, Cargill, Cole.
Subs not used: Neal (GK), Pond, Nadesan, Biggins.
Referee: D Coote