Fleetwood Town lost their first away match of the new year after a 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The match was decided with a last minute winner from the home side. Ryan Edwards headed into the net from Liam Boyce’s cross to give the hosts all three points.
It was a fairly even contest in the first half, and it was Fleetwood had their best chance with Lewie Coyle. The defender made a great run towards the hosts’ goal, but his effort was dragged wide.
Nigel Clough’s side picked up the tempo and went close to opening the scoring with Oliver Sarkic. The midfielder did well to put his shot on target, but Danny Andrew was there to block the shot.
Wes Burns had a similar opportunity to Coyle’s effort midway through the first half, but his effort was dragged wide.
After the opening exchanges, the game began to take shape with most of the play being in the middle of the park.
The crowd inside the Pirelli Stadium had to wait until after the twenty minute mark for each side to have a clear opportunity at goal.
The first came for Town after a free-kick in a dangerous area. Kyle Dempsey whipped in a dangerous ball far post, but Brayford did superbly well to get a toe on the ball to take it away from danger.
Scott Fraser was Burton’s bright spark and when he showed great skill to beat Coyle, his effort at goal was block and cleared by Ashley Eastham.
Moment later Alex Cairns was called into action. Fraser picked out Sarkic inside the penalty area, but his strike was saved by Town’s number.
Burton got caught out down the left flank far to easy, and when Burns raced through he had only the goal keeper to beat, but his effort again went agonisingly wide of the left hand post.
With only minutes until the break, there was a claim for a penalty as Sarkic ran into Eastham, but the referee Josh Smith dismissed the shouts for a spot kick.
Soon after, Town broke down the right wing and with the pace of Burns, he beat his man again – which resulted in Clough making change at the left back area – but it was that final ball that was letting the visitors down.
The second half began with the home side in the ascendancy. The first real chance of the half came in the 50th minute as Sarkic found space to fashion a shot, which he pulled wide of the near post.
With a change in formation, Town looked the more dangerous side and after keeping the ball, Danny Andrew found space, but his cross was over hit and it went out of play for a goal-kick.
Not much happened in second half with chances far from the action, but as the match approached the final stages, Burton had a chance to take the points. Fraser did well to cross the ball for Joe Sbarra, but the ball just missed the substitute, and went out for a goal kick.
Just before injury time, the home side took the lead. After pilling on the pressure in the later stages of the second period, Edwards latched onto a cross from Liam Boyce to glance into the net from close range.
Despite Joey Barton going all-out-attack right at the death, Town could not find a way through and the referee brought to an end a frustrating 90 minutes for Fleetwood.
The Cod Army now look forward to next weekend when the Cod Army host Shrewsbury Town at Highbury Stadium.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Andrew, Connolly (Sowerby 66’), Eastham, Souttar, Burns (Madden 66’), Dempsey (McAleny 83’), Evans, Morris, Coutts (C)
Subs not used: Gilks (GK), Biggins, Saunders, Hill.
Burton XI: O’Hara (GK), Brayford, Daniel (Hutchinson 35’), Edwards, Buxton (C), Quinn, Fraser, Akins, Templeton (Boyce 53’), Sarkic (Sbarra 76’), O’Toole.
Subs not used: Garratt, Sharman-Lowe, Sbarra, Nartey, Hart.