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Match Reports

Report: Rooney secures the win over Cambridge at the death

21 February 2023

Match Reports

Report: Rooney secures the win over Cambridge at the death

21 February 2023

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Fleetwood Town carried on their brilliant run of form in February as they struck gold at the death, beating Cambridge United 1-0 at Highbury on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t a game that will live long in the memory of those fans who were there but the crucial chance which decided the result came in the 88th minute as full-backs Josh Earl and Shaun Rooney linked up to score the only goal in the game, sinking the travelling fans’ hearts.

Both sides came into the game looking to keep hold of the ball, which showed that supporters had to wait until the quarter-hour mark for the first chance. Michael Morrison played Liam Bennett in, who tried his luck from the edge of the box and tested Jay Lynch, forcing him into an early save.

With an ambitious volley from Morrison flying over the Town bar rounding off the initial half-hour, Fleetwood managed to create a half chance as Rooney’s cross from the right was cleared into the path of Josh Vela who struck towards goal, with Ryan Bennett getting in the way and blocking it.

Just before the break, Brendan Wiredu decided to drive forwards from the back, before playing a one-two with Jack Marriott and shooting from range. The shot was blocked well but Town’s number 14 reacted well and struck his own effort, but it went the wrong side of the near post.

With Carlos Mendes Gomes rounding off the first half with an audacious volley, Town started the second half the better as Rooney latched onto the end of a deep cross, but couldn’t guide his effort goalwards, with Jayden Stockley nodding a free kick just over Dimitar Mitov’s bar minutes later.

Probably the biggest chance of the game for Cambridge came in the 68th minute when Jack Lankester was played through one-on-one with Lynch, but Town’s shot-stopper made himself big and kept out his effort from 18 yards.

With eight minutes to go, Scott Brown’s men had a let-off as a cross was put into the Fleetwood box from the right with Sam Smith getting his head onto it and guiding the effort goalwards, but the effort hit the outside of the post and was cleared away soon after.

The whole of Highbury was bemused just before the end as Lloyd Jones and Mitov clashed into each other leaving Cian Hayes through on goal with an open net in front of him, but he took an extra touch letting the defenders get back and nick the ball from him.

With two minutes to go, the deadlock was finally broken as substitute Josh Earl played a deep cross towards the back post where Rooney rose highest and nodded home the cross to make it 1-0 just before the end.

Cambridge did create one last chance seconds before the final whistle as Smith picked up the ball a couple of yards away from Lynch and his goal but, unfortunately for him and the travelling side, he lofted his chance over the bar meaning all three points would stay on the Fylde Coast.

Town XI: Lynch (GK), Wiredu, Mendes Gomes (Macadam 78’), Vela (C), Stockley (Hayes 70’), Marriott (Omochere 59’), Warrington, Holgate, Nsiala (Earl 70’), Patterson (Dolan 78’), Rooney.

Unused subs: McMullan (GK), Ndaba.

Yellows XI: Mitov (GK), Digby (C), Jones, Brophy, Ironside, Smith, Lankester, R.Bennett, Morrison, McGrandles, L.Bennett.

Unused subs: Mannion (GK), Williams, Haunstrup, O’Neil, Okedina, Worman.

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