Late drama for battling Town

Jamille Matt celebrates his equaliser
Jamille Matt celebrates his equaliser

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander hailed his side for battling back to earn a 1-1 draw with Rochdale on a day of late drama at Highbury.

Jamille Matt rescued a point for Fleetwood with three minutes to spare, bagging his second goal in three games with a header from close range, before Chris Maxwell’s penalty save denied Dale a stoppage-time winner .

Town fell behind as a result of a defensive lapse, Ian Henderson allowed to race onto a quick throw, with Peter Vincenti unmarked at the back post to nod visitors Rochdale ahead after 55 minutes.

Vincenti was a menace to Town and could have helped his side to take the spoils at the death, when he was tripped inside the box by the recalled Eggert Jonsson.

Henderson’s penalty was superbly saved by Maxwell to earn to seal what manager Alexander considered a deserved point

The Fleetwood boss said: “I think a draw was a fair result. Rochdale took the lead and a team of their experience will hope to see out the game.

“Our players never gave up. We were a thorn in the side of Rochdale in the last 20 minutes, probably for longer spells in the game.

“We created so many problems for them – we hit the post, their keeper’s made a fantastic save and eventually we’ve got our reward.

“Then we almost threw it away right at the end – it was a poor penalty to concede.

“But we’ve got one of the best keepers in this league and he has made a fantastic save.”

The Fleetwood boss also hailed the impact his substitutes made, including scorer Matt.

Alexander added: “We have to be better than we were in conceding the goal but the three subs who came on made an impact (Bobby Grant and Nick Haughton, making his first appearance of the season, were the others).

“That was a turning point of the game and they’ve deserved to get something from it.

“Jamille Matt deserves his goal, He was absolutely superb – almost unplayable for their centre-halves.

“He was difficult to contain and was a goal threat.”

Alexander knows his side can improve their defending in wide areas.

Indeed, he was highly critical of the goal they conceded. “I thought it was a really poor goal to give away,” Alexander said.

“The attack started with a throw in their final third.

“We have to be better than that. We spoke about it after the game.

“I didn’t see much effort needed for them to get from there into our final third. It’s something we can definitely do better.

“I thought it was a really poor goal to give away. The attack started with a throw in their final third. We have to be better than that.”