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Match Reports

Report: Stubborn Rochdale frustrate Town in goalless draw

11 February 2017

Fleetwood now unbeaten in 14 league games after Highbury point

Uwe Rosler’s side stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games and took away a useful point in their clash with North-West rivals Rochdale in a goalless draw at Highbury.

Despite enjoying long periods of the ball the home side were unable to breach the strong back-line of Keith Hill’s Rochdale side.

Prior to the game Rosler made four changes to the side started last time out against Charlton at The Valley. David Ball, George Glendon, Jack Sowerby and Ashley Hunter all come into the side. 

Meanwhile Rochdale manager Hill made five changes to his starting line-up that drew against Bristol Rovers 0-0 last week.

The point keeps the Cod’s play off bid firmly intact, however Fleetwood may will be disappointed they did not capitalise on some good chances. 

The hosts demonstrated their quite clear confidence in comparison to that of their opponents in the opening stages of the game, yet the visitors were able to react well to this.

Rochdale defender Mark Kitching had the first effort on target, stinging the hands of goalkeeper Alex Cairns from 20 yards out, but the Town stopper saved well at his near post.

With a quarter of the game gone, Kitching again tried his luck from some way out, but unlike his previous effort this one sailed way over the bar.

But a feature of Fleetwood’s game is the side’s ability, to counter and counter fast.

Success from this primarily came when the in-form Ball won a free-kick in a dangerous position from a swift break-away, but Town were unable to capitalise. However secondly, Hunter broke the offside trap, after curving his run well but his shot was gathered by goalkeeper Ben Wilson.


As the half came to end each side struggled to really put their stamp on the game. The tactical battle within the midfield epitomised a good half of football as the sides went in for the break.

Both managers shuffled their pack’s at half time with Fleetwood bringing on Victor Nirennold in place of Jack Sowerby, and the away side bringing on Calvin Andrew for Joseph Thompson.

Yet, fans were barely in their seats after the restart when the best chance of the game presented itself.

As no more than 15 seconds into the new half, Ball was clean through on goal, following a poor back pass, but his effort went agonisingly wide of the target.

As the half continued Rosler again looked to his bench hoping Markus Schwabl could break the midfield stalemate, replacing Glendon.

It was the away side nevertheless, who should have broken the deadlock and what a glorious chance it was. The dangerous Ian Henderson pounced on some poor defending and elected to lift his effort over Cairns – an effort which he saw drop just wide of the post.


Dale had yet another chance after soaking up sustained Fleetwood pressure, but the lively Oliver Rathbone saw his powerful shot whistle passed the post.

As the game reached a crescendo, the home side finished well, but were unable to breach the back-line of their North-Western neighbours. It means the Cod’s unbeaten run stretches to 14 games, and it will be of use in the club’s push for promotion.   

Fleetwood: Alex Cairnes; Jack Sowerby, Cian Bolger, Ashley Eastham, Ben Davies, Ameri’I Bell; Geroge Glendon, Kyle Dempsey, Bobby Grant; Ashley Hunter, David Ball.

Subs: Chris Neal, Cameron Brannagan, Wes Burns, Joe Davis, Victor Nirennold, Markus Schwabl, Devante Cole.

Rochdale: Ben Wilson (GK), Joseph Rafferty, Niall Canavan, Nathanial Menez-Laing, Oliver Rathbone, Joseph Thompson, Keith Keane, Jamie Allen, Andrew Cannon, Mark Kitching, Ian Henderson.

Subs: Conrad Logan, Jimmy McNulty, Harrison McGahey, Calvin Andrew, Callum Camps, Reuben Noble-Lazerus, Jack Redshaw.

Attendence: 3,186 (599 away)

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