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Match Reports

Report: Late Hiwula strike earns Town a deserved point

17 October 2017

A late goal from Jordy Hiwula gave Fleetwood as deserved point as they drew 1-1 against Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night.

Hiwula pounced on a defensive mistake with just five minutes left to go to level after Lee Novak’s first half strike had given United the lead.

Uwe Rosler made one change from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Rochdale with George Glendon taking the place of Aiden O’Neill, who took a place on the bench. Also on the bench was Wes Burns, who retains his place in the squad after having his red card on Saturday successfully overturned on appeal.

Town were quick out of the blocks in Lincolnshire and inside sixty seconds had a good chance to take the lead as Hiwula fired wide from outside the area, and were spraying the ball around well in midfield.

Scunthorpe also had a decent spell of possession in the opening period and Funso Ojo went close with a long-range effort that flew past Alex Cairns’ right hand post.

The hosts were on the front foot when they took the lead, with a slice of luck, midway through the first half, as Lee Novak flicked home after a scramble in the area from Josh Morris’ corner. It was perhaps harsh on Rosler’s side who had been defending well.

But for a good save from Cairns, United could have doubled their lead a few minutes later – Novak was to be denied this time.

Play died down in the centre of the park, but Fleetwood were searching for an equaliser and were beginning to frustrate the home side as they pressed forward. Slippery conditions were making it difficult for the Cod Army in the final third.

Hiwula was a concern for the home defence and he threatened a leveler when he connected to a long ball over the top from Bobby Grant, but fired his effort over the bar.

Town were getting better, and Devante Cole could have perhaps equalised from Lewie Coyle’s cross had it not been for some fortunate defending from Scunthorpe in their own six yard box. Kyle Dempsey then tried his luck from distance, with his shot deflected for a corner, from which Bobby Grant slightly miscued his strike.

Grant was doing well against his former side and he started another good move, which saw Amari’i Bell’s dangerous cross cleared, as Town improved in the final ten minutes of the half. It was a good end to the half, as Town went into the break with something positive to build on.

Rosler made one change at half time, bringing on Conor McAleny for Cole at the break, and from the restart he tried his luck from outside the area, but it did little to test Matt Gilks in the United net.

Fleetwood had come out for the second half with a point to prove and looked lively, controlling the play on a chilly night. 

Novak was certainly causing problems for Town, and up the other end he flashed a powerful drive across the face of goal.

A lot of Fleetwood’s play was coming down the right hand side, with Coyle allowed to beat his man and play crosses into the area, but the Irons were dealing with any danger well.

McAleny had looked hungry since his introduction and squandered a superb chance to restore parity as he ran from inside his own half but could only fire his shot straight at Gilks.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, and on the counter attack Duane Holmes tested the reflexes of Cairns with a pile driver. Cairns saved well to deny the former Huddersfield Town man.

From a free kick on the right hand side, Town came close again. It was whipped in and headed across goal by Cian Bolger, but Hiwula couldn’t get the touch needed to guide it into the back of the net.

With Ash Hunter already on as a substitute, Aiden O’Neill was brought on with ten minutes to go in an attempt to snatch something from the game.

And snatch something Fleetwood did with five minutes to go. An innocuous through ball seemed to be an easy interception for Scunthorpe defender Murray Wallace, but his slip up allowed Hiwula to pounce on the mistake as he bore down on goal, slotting past Gilks inside the penalty area.

In a pulsating final five minutes Town could have been 2-1 up as Hiwula played Bell through on goal, but the offside flag saved Scunthorpe’s blushes. McAleny then volleyed at Gilks, but it was well saved.

It was an exciting finish to the match and one that could have potentially gone the home side’s way had Neal Bishop not scuffed his stoppage time strike.

Scunthorpe United XI: Gilks (GK), Clarke, Wallis, Ojo, Madden, Morris, Bishop, Novak, Holmes (Adelakun), McArdle ©, Butroid.

Subs not used: Watson (GK), Van Veen, Hopper, Lewis, Redmond, Burgess.

Fleetwood Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Bell, Eastham, Pond (O’Neill), Hiwula, Dempsey, Grant, Bolger, Glendon (Hunter), Cole (McAleny).

Subs not used: Neal (GK), Burns, Schwabl, Cargill.

Referee: P Bankes

Attendance: 3,120


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