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Match Reports

Report: Dempsey and Bolger fire Town to first home win since October

24 March 2018

Goals from Kyle Dempsey and Cian Bolger sealed a first home victory since October as Fleetwood Town beat Northampton 2-0 at Highbury.

Dempsey finished off a flowing move after 18 minutes, with Bolger scoring a scrappy second from a corner late on. Northampton asked a few questions, but Town were comfortable in the end and deserved the three points. 

John Sheridan named an unchanged side from Tuesday’s fantastic win over Rochdale, with Nathan Pond captaining the side. Gethin Jones did replace Joe Maguire on the bench.

Just before the game there were tributes to Life Vice-President Ted Lowery, who sadly passed away on Friday after a short illness. Ted was a much-loved figure around the club and will be sadly missed by all those whose lives he touched. Pond, alongside Chairman Andy Pilley, laid a wreath in his honour just before kick-off.

Fleetwood started brightly at Highbury, with the home side putting Northampton under some early pressure, however the Cobblers were showing their strength, making it a physical battle in midfield.

Town started showing dominance and asserted this just 15 minutes in as Dempsey finished a superb team move off from inside the area. The goal came after a brilliant move from Toumani Diagouraga saw him play a smart one-two with Conor McAleny, before playing the inch perfect pass to slice open the defence, where the on rushing Dempsey calmly slotted home.

The Cod Army were playing some fine football, and could have doubled their lead when Ashley Eastham headed a Jack Sowerby free-kick narrowly over the bar.

The away side had posed little threat all afternoon, but they were unlucky not to equalise as they missed their best chance of the game. Kevin Van Veen received the ball inside the Fleetwood box, but could only fire over.

A free kick from Hunter caused havoc in the Northampton penalty area, but no Fleetwood head or boot could get a clean connection on it and the visitors managed to clear away the danger.

The second half started in style, as both sides had dangerous counter attacks within the opening minute of the half. Van Veen was unlucky not to score again as his powerful drive somehow went wide with all in the ground expecting the equaliser.

Northampton were looking dangerous from corner kicks, and this time it was half time substitute Kevin Luckassen who rose highest, but his header was off target.

Paddy Madden did well to try and pick out McAleny when the hosts countered, but the boot of a defender was just enough to direct his shot away from goal and out for a corner.

There was a strong appeal for a penalty after the ball hit the hand of a Northampton player from that move, but Town continued play and were inches away from a second goal when Dempsey’s powerful strike sailed wide. Fleetwood had regained their first half confidence, with Dempsey controlling the midfield play.

Town should have been 2-0 up when Jordy Hiwula, brought on just seconds earlier, was denied at point blank by Richard O’Donnell, who produced a wonder save to deny the striker’s header.

That foreshadowed what was to come next, as from the corner Town did sore a deserved second. A corner was swung in by Hunter, and after a goal mouth scramble, the ball was stabbed home by Bolger.

Fleetwood still had the impetus to drive forward in search of a third, but looked happy to let the Cobblers attack.

The last action of the match was to be a well driven free kick from Hunter, with the ref then blowing for full time on a win that Ted would have no doubt been proud of.

Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Eastham, Pond ©, Dempsey, McAleny (Grant), Bolger, Diagouraga, Madden (Hiwula), Hunter, Sowerby (Glendon).

Subs not used: Neal (GK), Burns, Jones, Biggins.

Northampton XI: O’Donnell (GK), Moloney, Taylor ©, Mathis (Luckassen), Van Veen (Long), McWilliams (Aribiyi), Facey, Pereira, Grimes, Turnbull, Bunney.

Subs not used: Cornell (GK), Barnett, Foley, Hoskins.

Referee: R Lewis

Attendance: 3,049 (504 away)


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