Fleetwood have to settle for a point against AFC Wimbledon
Fleetwood Town were held to a frustrating goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon at Highbury, but kept their fifth clean sheet in six matches.
Ashley Hunter had arguably the best chance of the game in the first half, but his shot was well kept out by James Shea in the visitors net.
Head coach Uwe Rosler made two changes from the 1-0 win at Walsall on Tuesday night. Ashley Eastham and David Ball came into the starting line up, with Godswill Ekpolo and Cameron Brannagan taking their place on the bench.
The early play was all with Fleetwood and the first chance fell to Bobby Grant early on, but his long-range shot was well blocked by Dons skipper Paul Robinson.
Town should have led the game when Hunter broke free after a neat ball Kyle Dempsey, but Wimbledon stopper Shea produced a fine save to deny an opening goal.
It was a positive opening for the Cod Army who were enjoying a spell of possession, limiting the away side to chances from distance.
Cian Bolger was forced into a superb last ditch challenge in the penalty area after Darius Charles was put through on goal, moments after Dean Parrett had come close to putting the Dons ahead. His attempt from distance almost wrong-footed Alex Cairns, but Town’s no.1 recovered well to save.
Conor McLaughlin was able to capitalise on a slip from Charles, as he intercepted the ball on the half way line before narrowly firing over from 25 yards. Ball was next to try his luck as he broke free down the right, before cutting inside, but his effort was wide.
Town were beginning to find their feet again as Dempsey shimmied his way past several defenders before his final shot was blocked. It was then Bobby Grant’s go, as he latched onto Amari’I Bell’s pass before blazing over. All square at the break.
The Cod Army started the second period well as McLaughlin poked his header straight at Shea after good work from Bell down the left.
Town were being frustrated by Wimbledon, but a moment of brilliance from Dempsey saw Town almost benefit from the counter attack. Dempsey ducked the challenge from Dean Parrett, produced a great turn before breaking free, but his through ball towards Hunter had slightly too much pace.
With Town still pushing for the opening goal, Grant was the next to try, as his effort was blocked in a melee of Wimbledon bodies in the penalty area. As the game edged into a crucial final twenty minutes, Wimbledon should have taken the lead as Andy Barcham pounced on a long ball, but could only fire over from the edge of the area. The visitors soon had another big chance as Lyle Taylor crossed in from the right, but his ball narrowly evaded a waiting Tom Elliott in the Town penalty area.
Wimbledon were attacking with more threat as the clock ticked towards the ninety, and were somehow not ahead when first a header from Elliott was cleared, then a Barcham strike was fired centimeters over the bar.
With the game into stoppage time, Jon Meades was next to have an effort for the Dons, but his flick was neatly smothered by Cairns, before Dannie Bulman shot from the edge of the area bounced wide.
That was to be the final action of a frustrating game for Fleetwood. They are next in action next Saturday, as they travel to Gigg Lane to face Bury.
Fleetwood Town XI: Cairns (GK), McLaughlin ©, Eastham, Bolger, Davies, Bell, Dempsey (Nirrenold), Schwabl, Grant, Hunter (Brannagan).
Subs: Urwin (GK), Glendon, Godswill, Reid, Maguire.
AFC Wimbledon XI: Shea (GK), Bulman, Nightingale, Robinson ©, Francomb, Reeves, Elliott, Barcham, Parrett (Meades), Barnett (Taylor), Charles.
Subs: McDonnell (GK), Poleon, Fitzpatrick, Kelly, Egan.
Referee: Mr M Brown