Fleetwood Town hosted Doncaster Rovers in a well contested 0-0 draw at Highbury Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a first half of limited chances, Cian Hayes’ effort that went just over the bar after a great solo run was the closed either side came to breaking the deadlock before half-time. Town dominated the second half but, despite their several great chances, they were unable to find that all-important winning goal.
Doncaster had the first chance of the game as Ro-Shaun Williams leaped the highest inside the 18-yard box but couldn’t direct his header low enough to test Kieran O’Hara.
Zak Jules, playing at left-back this afternoon, found himself driving forward early on and decided to try his luck from distance, but Johnny Mitchell wasn’t worried as he watched it fly wide of the post.
Town looked to take advantage of their extra man as the away side were temporarily a man short due to Kieran Agard going off injured. Hayes picked the ball up on the left-wing, immediately lifted his head up, and forced his way through the oncoming challenges – unfortunately, his effort from outside the box went only inches over the crossbar.
Once again, Hayes was causing real issues for the Doncaster defence as after he managed to stay up from the first tackle, he was clattered to the ground with the second, but the referee waved play on. Harrison Biggins collected the loose ball and tried to go alone, but his left-footed effort from a tight angle was held by Mitchell.
The home side enjoyed a spell of pressure, having switched sides, this time it was Paddy Lane on the left looking to cause trouble and he won his side a free-kick on the edge of the box – with Aidan Barlow earning a yellow card in the process. Dan Butterworth’s cross had just a bit too much on it for Lane at the far post.
Dylan Boyle was caught on the half-turn and Doncaster were able to counter, substitute Reo Griffiths was played in behind the defence which gave O’Hara the chance to make his first save of the game to keep the scores level.
Since switching wings Lane was able to get a lot more involved in the game, he cut inside driving along the 18-yard box before he eventually got his strike away on his right foot which went wide of the mark.
Hayes makes a darting drive towards the byline before getting his effort on goal away, which had to be tipped over the bar by Mitchell to deny the winger’s shot from hitting the back of the net.
Callum Johnson somehow found himself on the wing, never giving up on a ball that looked like it was going out for a goal kick and ended up winning his side a corner with his sustained pressure. Unfortunately, no red shirt was able to get on the end of the corner.
Town were looking threatening and second-half substitute, Callum Camps, was the man stood over the free-kick who whipped a teasing ball in, but it was dealt with by the away side – until Biggins retrieved the ball on the right-hand side of the box and lofted the ball to the back post where Jules appeared to be dragged down inside the box, but the referee gave the call the other way.
After an unfortunate ricochet, Ben Jackson was bearing down on goal with teammates in support either side of him, but he opted for a long-range effort instead and O’Hara got down well and comfortably kept hold of it.
Camps had been trying to make something happen ever since he entered the action and this time Biggins was the man to receive his pass through the line but his shot, which had Mitchell at full stretch went slightly wide of the post.
Moments later, in a very similar position, it was Hayes’ turn to try and curl it into the bottom left corner and if not for Doncaster’s shot-stopper getting a fingertip to it, it may have been nestling the inside of the net.
As Fleetwood continued to pile on the pressure, Lane was the man to deliver back-to-back set pieces, with the first of the two resulting in Mitchell being forced into a save.
This time, Lane was handed the opportunity to have a shot from free-kick as Camps won it on the edge of the box – the Northern Irish winger could only fire straight at Doncaster’s number 12. Ged Garner had the final chance of the game soon after, but his effort flew high and wide.
Town XI: O’Hara (GK), Jules, Butterworth (Camps 46’), Johnson, Biggins (C), Baggley (G. Garner 46’), Lane, Nsiala, Boyle (J.Garner 72’), Johnston, Hayes
Subs: Cairns (GK), Clarke, Pilkington, Macadam
Doncaster XI: Mitchell (GK), Knoyle, Olowu, Williams, Rowe (C), Smith, Barlow, Hiwula (Gardner 87'), Martin (Jackson 60’), Galbraith, Agard (Griffiths 13’)
Subs: Jones (GK), Younger, Clayton, Dodoo