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23 February 2019 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: FLEETWOOD TOWN

23 February 2019

A frustrating afternoon back at the Pirelli Stadium saw visitors Fleetwood Town head back to the Fylde coast with all three points after Ashley Nadesan's 57th minutes strike settled a low quality game

Albion struggled to create clear cut chances against a well-drilled Fleetwood rearguard and they paid the price when Nadesan finished a swift breakaway after the Brewers had dominated the early stages of the second period after a dull first forty-five minutes.

Both Marcus Harness and Lucas Akins went close late on in stoppage time to grabbing a point but Town kept a valuable clean sheet to take the points.

For the visit of the Cod Army there were recalls for both Liam Boyce and David Templeton who were both rested from the starting eleven at Barnsley on Tuesday. The return of the experienced pair in place of Scott Fraser and Will Miller resulted in a change of shape as Albion reverted to a midfield four with Templeton slotting in on the left and Boyce dropping in just behind main striker Lucas Akins in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Although Fleetwood started the more assured with plenty of possession it was Albion who created the first opening of note in the tenth minute with Colin Daniel and Akins combining well down the left and Akins whipping in a cross that Boyce moved onto to flick a header over the bar. An eve better chance went begging on 13 minutes when Marcus Harness got the better of James Husband to send in a deep cross that was played back across goal by Templeton with Akins just unable to guide it home at the far post.

The new formation lasted around twenty minutes until Nigel Clough opted to tweak things back to his more recognised 4-3-3. Harness dropped inside to join the central trio and Akins went out wide on the right to push Boyce further forwards.

Chaos ensued at a Burton free kick as referee Michael Salisbury insisted that both Akins and Town defender James Husband head to the sidelines, Akins for a change of a bloodied shirt and Husband for treatment on a cut arm that had found its way onto the Burton players shirt.

A niggly, stop start half made flowing football difficult as both sides looked for anything to give them an edge but this was a game where defence and midfield were most definitely on top meaning precious few opportunities in the box for either side.

The half ended with neither keeper have been seriously tested and both sides hoping to sharpen up and provide more of a threat after the break.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Fleetwood Town

The second half threatened to flicker into action when Harness went on a mazy dribble that took him into the box and it was only the outstretched leg of Ashley Eastham that denied him the chance to put the ball on a plate for Jamie Allen bursting forwards to support.

But from a situation where Albion were doing all the pressing they found themselves behind on 57 minutes to a rare Fleetwood breakout. A long diagonal ball out from the right found Paddy Madden on the opposite flank and his ball into the danger area was seized upon by NADESAN who slid the ball beyond Collins from six yards.

Albion immediately sent on Fraser for Templeton but they could easily have found themselves two down straight away as another swift break was almost finished off by right back Lewie Coyle who curled his effort around the post.

The introduction of Joe Sbarra for John Brayford on 73 minutes added more impetus to the Brewers threat as Brayford was sacrificed and efforts from both Allen and Harness kept the Town defence on their toes.

Albion struggled to break down a resilient Town defence and it could have got worse for Albion when substitute Ash Hunter thrashed a rising drive against the crossbar in added-on time.

Plenty of pressure for Albion came in added on time of six minutes but their frustrations continued as they failed to find a way through.

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