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Report: Bolger's late header seals late win

21 January 2017

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Late goal at Coventry sends Fleetwood fourth

Cian Bolger’s 89th minute header gave Fleetwood Town a hard earned three points at the Ricoh Arena.


In a game of few chances Bolger’s bullet header from Kyle Dempsey’s corner proved enough to stretch Town’s unbeaten run to ten games.


Ahead of the clash Rosler made four changes to the side which lost to Bristol City on Tuesday night, as David Ball, Ashley Hunter, Bobby Grant and George Glendon all returned to the starting XI.


There were also three new faces in the squad for Town as new signings Wes Burns, Markus Schwabl and Joe Maguire were all named as substitutes.


Fleetwood quickly made themselves at home at the Ricoh as they settled into an early spell of possession that yielded a number of chances, with Dempsey able to find plenty of space in the middle of the park.


Grant had the first chance of the afternoon as he found himself in space on the edge of the box and fired harmlessly over the bar.


The Cod Army had several opportunities to get the ball in the box from set pieces in the opening moments, and on one occasion Grant picked up the ball in midfield following a City clearance and angled a pass out to Hunter on the right wing whose low shot across goal was easily saved.


City had their first real chance of the game after 20 minutes as Stuart Beavon shot from the edge of the area after picking up Conor McLaughlin’s scuffed clearance – but his effort was directed straight at Alex Cairns who saved comfortably.


Though after Beavon’s shot Town immediately broke and forced a chance of their own. Hunter drove inside and laid the ball off to Grant, whose low deflected shot went inches wide of the post.


The playing surface at the Ricoh seemed to be suffering from the strain of hosting Wasp’s fixtures as well as Coventry’s, meaning it was far from conductive for fast-paced football which led to fairly frequent errors from both sides.


The home side again threatened on the half-hour mark as Andy Rose’s right wing cross seemed to be destined to float into the back of the net, only for Cairns to pull off a smart save to deny the Australian.


On the brink of half time Ashley Eastham had a golden chance to give Town the lead but he was unable to get anything on Glendon’s low cross across goal and the sides went in at the break at 0-0.


Town had another golden chance moments after the second half began. This time through Hunter, Amari’i Bell broke into the box and found Hunter with his low cross – but Hunter’s effort agonizingly clipped the post and went wide.


Five minutes later City had a chance of their own as Callum Reilly met Rose’s cross, only for his header to loop onto Cairns’ far post before McLaughlin was able to clear it to safety.


Hunter then again threatened, after winning a free kick after Nathan Clarke brought him down, his effort clipped the City wall and looped just over the bar. The effort was Hunter’s last action for the day as on the hour mark Chris Long came on to replace him.


Schwabl came on Fleetwood debut after 69 minutes when he replaced Glendon. The German was straight into the action as he directed a shot goal wards only for Jordan Willis to get in a well-timed block.


From the resulting corner Cian Bolger rose highest to meet Dempsey’s curling ball, but he was unable to direct his header on target.


With 15 minutes left on the clock Rosler played his last roll of the dice – bringing on new frontman Wes Burns in place of David Ball.


Rosler’s new men immediately linked up nicely as Burns latched onto Schwabl’s ball over the top, though his shot was saved by Lee Burge.


But from the resulting corner Town took the lead as Bolger ghosted into the area unmarked to head home Dempsey’s ball emphatically and make it 1-0 in the 89th minute.


Burns almost doubled the lead deep into extra time as he found himself through on goal only for Burge to save his effort brilliantly, but ultimately Bolger’s goal was enough to give the Cod Army all three points and extend the run of league games unbeaten - to ten.


Coventry City: Burge (GK), Willis (c), Turnbull, Rose, Clarke, Reilly, Beavon, Rawson, Haynes, Thomas, Stevenson.

Substitutes: Charles-Cook (GK), Lameiras, Jones, Reid, Gadzhev, Kelly-Evans, Harries.


Fleetwood Town: Cairns (GK), McLaughlin (c), Bell, Eastham, Bolger, Davies, Grant, Glendon, Dempsey, Ball, Hunter.

Substitutes: Neal (GK), Burns, Nirennold, Long, Schwabl, Maguire, Cole.

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