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Match Reports

Report: Excellent Town pick up home victory over Shrewsbury

Madden and Burns goal seal three key points at Highbury

13 October 2018

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Fleetwood Town defeated Shrewbury Town 2-1 at Highbury courtesy of first half goals from Paddy Madden and Wes Burns.

Shrewsbury were more threatening after the break and replied through Josh Laurent but Fleetwood stood firm to claim their second home win of the season in front of 2,983.

Two changes were made from the 4-0 win at Doncaster. James Husband and Ched Evans were out through injury. Craig Morgan and Wes Burns returned to the starting line-up.

Fleetwood started brightly. James Wallace ignored easier options to thread a lovely pass, triggering a four-man move. From the resulting corner Burns' header forced a diving save from Joel Coleman. Fleetwood maintained the pressure, Coleman saving again, this time from Ash Hunter whose tenth minute shot from distance caused problems off the slippy surface. The pitch was holding up well considering the persistent rain overnight and through the morning. 

Pressure told in the 19th minute and it was a beauty which gave Fleetwood the lead at the Percy Ronson Stand end. Hunter's cross from wide out on the right, the wettest area, was met by a glancing header from Madden. It was the Irishman's fifth league goal of the season.

Fleetwood's second goal was just as sweet. Burns went on a mazy run from central midfield, fed Madden and was on hand to take the return pass on his left foot to score past Coleman for his third goal of the season after 28 minutes.

With precious little opportunity against a dominant Fleetwood side, Shaun Whalley was prompted to strike a speculative long shot after 36 minutes. It went harmlessly wide.

Five minutes before the break, Wallace's game ended through injury. Chris Long deputised. In added time, Shrewsbury's finally gained some ground. Firstly, Fejiri Okenabirhie flashed a shot across the goal area from the left then, two minutes later, his right foot attempt from the opposite side forced Cairns to punch clear. 

With two changes made at the interval, The Shrews enjoyed more possession and territory. Hunter gave the ball away needlessly on the left and a cross from Laurent caused a moment of concern in the Fleetwood defence. For the first time in the match, Fleetwood were on the back foot. Eastham blocked a strong shot from Greg Docherty, one of the substitutes. Whalley's cross was turned home by Laurent after 57 minutes.

Stung into action, Fleetwood moved forward through Hunter and Coyle. Coyle drifted in from the left before sending a right foot shot narrowly wide. Both sides were seeing possession but a series of tackles made for a scrappy period of play. Long was substituted by Jason Holt after 70 minutes. Two minutes later, clever football by Ross Wallace forced a free kick on the edge of the area as well as a booking for Waterfall. Hunter's direct shot was palmed away by Coleman at the near post.

Once again Hunter caught the eye and in the 81st minute he sent a long ball from out on the left, which Burns just failed to make contact with sliding in at the back post. Shrewsbury continued to threaten but Fleetwood steadied, the experienced Morgan a leader and rock in defence.

As the game moved into added time, a combination of heroics from Cairns and Eastham kept Shrewsbury at bay as a back post header from a free kick flashed towards goal. 

Fleetwood: Alex Cairns, Nathan Sheron, Ashley Eastham, Craig Morgan (c), Lewie Coyle, Wes Burns, Ryan Taylor, James Wallace (Chris Long, 41, Jason Holt, 70), Ross Wallace (Kyle Dempsey, 88), Ash Hunter, Paddy Madden.

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