Fleetwood Town 0 Coventry City 0: Windswept stalemate at Highbury

Fleetwood had to settle for a second goalless draw in four days as both sides struggled with the blustery conditions.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 10:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 10:14 pm
Fleetwood's Lewie Coyle competes for the ball for Jordan Shipley of Coventry

The Cod Army created the better of the opportunities throughout the 90 minutes but they couldn't find a breakthrough and are still without a home victory since November.

The automatic promotion-chasing Sky Blues extended their unbeaten run to six matches but Fleetwood boss Joey Barton may well feel that another two points have gone begging.

For what was guaranteed to be a massive test against Mark Robins' in-form Sky Blues, boss Barton made just the single change in the wake of the weekend's stalemate at Bristol Rovers.

Wideman Wes Burns was ruled out due to illness shortly prior to kick-off, so up stepped youngster Harrison Biggins to take his place in the midfield.

Recent capture Glenn Whelan was in for his Highbury bow on what was a bitterly cold and blustery evening.

There was a scare for the Cod Army in the fourth minute. Sky Blues frontman Matt Godden fired a shot against the post, with Alex Cairns well beaten, but an assistant referee's flag was waved for an offside.

Coventry looked like a team full of confidence in the early exchanges, knocking the ball around competently.

There was then a blow for the hosts after only 10 minutes, when the unfortunate Biggins took an accidental knock to the side of his face and had to be replaced by Josh Morris.

It was taking time for the hosts to make positive inroads but they threatened in the 14th minute, when Morris ran menacingly at the heart of the Coventry defence before seeing a strike blocked by Kyle McFadzean.

As the game wore on, both sides were beginning to struggle against the swirling windy conditions and a Coventry error almost let Town in on the half-hour mark.

Jordan Shipley passed the ball straight to Morris and he fed Ched Evans, but the big frontman again saw a shot blocked.

Shipley almost atoned by firing in a 30-yard drive, which Cairns saved well, while at the other end Evans' thumping header from six yards was superbly palmed away by keeper Marco Marosi.

Just before the interval, Fleetwood top scorer Paddy Madden went close with a glancing header as he almost converted Lewie Coyle's precise cross.

If anything the conditions worsened during the early stages of the second half.

It was proving a real struggle for both sets of players to produce passes which regularly hit the mark.

Sky Blues midfielder Liam Walsh tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck when he darted towards goal before forcing Cairns into a fine diving stop.

Barton's men responded swiftly, though, with Madden blazing wildly over from just 10 yards as he met Harry Souttar's knockdown.

Evans should also have done better when he fired straight at Marosi from an acute angle.

With time running out this was still anyone's game, and Coventry sub Max Biamou threatened late on when his curling strike fizzing narrowly wide.

Fleetwood: Cairns 8, Coyle 8, Connolly 7, Souttar 8, Andrew 7, Biggins 6 (Morris 12, 6), Whelan 6, Dempsey 6 (Eastham 61, 6), Sowerby 6, Evans 7, Madden 6 (McAleny 72, 7); subs not used: Crellin, Coutts, Saunders, Hill.

Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Hyam, Dabo, Kelly, Walsh, McCallum, Westbrooke (O'Hare 45), Shipley (Biamou 45), Godden; Subs not used: Mason, Allen, Hiwula, Wilson, Pask

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 2,506