Fleetwood Town extended their unbeaten form away from home after Ashley Nadesan scored his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Burton Albion.
Joey Barton’s side earnt themselves another three points – as well as another clean sheet on the road – with a well fought performance against a side who were two points behind them prior to kick-off.
Nadesan managed to get himself onto the end of Paddy Madden’s cross and had the composure from range to get the right connection onto the ball, and to see the back of the net rattle, midway through the second half.
Heroic defending – let by Harry Souttar and Ashley Eastham – saw the Cod Army deservedly take all three points and remain unbeaten on the road in 2019.
It was an even start to the game at the Pirelli Stadium where the sun was shining and both teams were making the most of weather and also the pitch conditions in Staffordshire.
After a corner was crossed into the box by Jack Sowerby, the danger was only cleared to Ched Evans even on the edge of the box. The Welshman the crossed the ball to Madden who looked like he was getting onto the end of it, but it was great defending by Jake Buxton in the heart of the Burton defense.
Lucas Akins looked dangerous for the hosts and when he drifted out wide, he managed to get back onto his favoured right foot, delivered a nice ball into the box for Liam Boyce, but when ball reached the club’s top goal scorer, his glancing header sailed over the crossbar.
Akins – who has six goals to his name for the season – had the goal staring at him from six yards out, but failed to make the connection he needed on the ball to give his side the lead at the Pirelli Stadium. A huge chance for Nigel Clough’s side in the opening stages of the match.
Both teams wanted to get the ball down on the floor and play football, but it was when Burton and Fleetwood got into the final third where that composure and final pass was missing.
Chances were limited in the first half, which left both managers frustrated as they headed down the tunnel and into their respected training room to give their players a talking to before the restart of the match.
As the game got underway, it was Burton who had the first opportunity of the half after David Templeton crossed into the reached Boyce, but his header was met my Ash Eastham – who dealt with the threat well inside the six yard box.
Town took the lead just before the hour mark through Nadesan – who scored his first goal for the club – after superb work by Burns and Madden at either end of the field of play.
Burns broke the play up just outside his own 18-yard-box and hit a 60 yard pass to the Irishman on the opposite flank, and when he opened his body and saw Nadesan driving into the box, he picked him out and Nadesan finished well. A perfect example of how to counter attack!
The goalscorer was replaced by Ashley Hunter after the hour mark in a like for like swap on the attacking wings for the away side and it was the 23-year-old who was so close to doubling his sides lead, but Collins managed to get a hand to the first shot, and then did enough to claim the ball second time round when it was in his area.
Stalemate would be the perfect word to describe the action after the opening goal went in. Both teams were battling it out in the middle of the park, with the forward passes being intercepted by the defenders.
Clough’s side were pushing bodies forward, and with two attacking changes coming midway through the second 45 minutes, gaps were opening up for Barton’s side to capitalise on as the match went on.
Hunter rattled the crossbar in injury time, before Souttar made a heroic block to deny the lively Marcus Harness a certain goal. Phew. Three points secured.
Burton Albion XI: Collins (GK), Brayford (Sbarra 73’), Buxton ©, Allen (Bradley 89’), McFadzean, Akins, Templeton (Fraser , Harness, Quinn, Daniel, Boyce.
Subs not used: Bywater (GK), Miller, Hutchinson, Wallace.
Fleetwood XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Holt (Sheron 72’), Eastham ©, Burns, Evans, Souttar, Madden, Nadesan (Hunter 61’), Husband, Sowerby (Biggins 88’).
Subs not used: Jones (GK), Clarke, Garner, Rydel.