Fleetwood saved by humble hero

David Ball (far right) equalised for Fleetwood
David Ball (far right) equalised for Fleetwood

Alex Cairns pulled off a game-saving penalty stop at Swindon but the humble Fleetwood keeper praised his defence as their unbeaten run rolls on.

Luke Norris’ 11th minute header was soon cancelled out by Fleetwood striker David Ball’s ninth goal of the seasson in the 1-1 draw at the County Ground.

But it was Cairns’ save four minutes into the second half, diving to his left to turn away Michael Doughty’s penalty, that ensured Town go into Christmas unbeaten in eight matches.

Cairns felt the spot-kick, awarded against captain Nathan Pond for a foul on Jermaine Hylton, was a harsh decision.

He said: “I didn’t think it was a penalty but it happens sometimes in football. You’ve got to guess the right way and luckily for me I did.

“He (Doughty) tried to give me the eye and wait for my movement but I knew what I was doing. I was waiting for him to take the strike and luckily I saved it.

“Swindon proved they are a very good team but we have defended well over the last couple of weeks.

“Pondy is a great leader but the defenders all worked their socks off and I’m delighted with them.”

Head coach Uwe Rosler summed up Cairns’ display in one word: “Fantastic”.

He added: “That was a match-winning performance. Alex is an outfield player with gloves on – that is what I always call him.

“And today he made crucial saves, especially the penalty.”

Rosler was content with the point but felt Fleetwood should have had a penalty too, when Devante Cole appeared to be impeded by Nathan Thompson.

The Town boss said: “I’m happy with the point but I think in the first half we were the better team. We gave a very cheap goal away first time the ball came into the box.

“Second half they been the better team on the ball.

“After the referee gives the penalty against Pondy he has to give the one for Devante. We hit the bar and had a shot saved on the line.”