MATCH REPORT: Shrewsbury 0 Fleetwood 0

Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler
Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler

The woodwork and some brave defending ensured Fleetwood Town just clung on to a place in the FA Cup as they drew 0-0 at Shrewsbury Town.

Fleetwood were second best for the majority of the match and rode their luck as some poor finishing from the Shrews, some vital blocks from a bandaged Nathan Pond and Cian Bolger and the woodwork saw the game end all square at Greenhous Meadow.

Louis Dodds, ex-Fleetwood player Junior Brown and Ivan Toney all hit the woodwork but Town just scraped through the 90 minutes to take the tie to a replay at Highbury with Town still in with a chance of reaching the third round.

Rosler made one change to the side that drew 2-2 at AFC Wimbledon last weekend for this FA Cup second round tie.

Toney rose above the pack but the on-loan Newcastle man nodded straight at Cairns and Town captain Pond made a brave block to stop Dodds’ goal bound effort.

The hosts grew in confidence as the half wore on but it was a scrappy start with Fleetwood uncharacteristically giving the ball away cheaply.

Former Shrewsbury man Bobby Grant showed off his acrobatic skills as his overhead kick just flew over the bar and his dipping shot just also fell the wrong side of the bar.

Shrewsbury’s El-Abd was booked for taking out Cole in full flight on the left wing and Fleetwood nearly took the lead from the subsequent set-piece as Glendon whipped the ball in towards Pond who nodded the ball down towards the corner but Leutwiler just scrambled it away.

The game finally sprung to life in the second half with Shrewsbury hitting the post twice in quick succession.

Firstly Dodds pounced on a defensive error to run clear but having beaten a diving Cairns his effort kissed the inside of the post before trickling across the line to safety and moments later ex-Fleetwood man Brown sent the ball crashing into the woodwork from close range.

Dodds wasted another chance as he rattled the ball straight into Bolger in the box but Rolser switched things up just after the hour mark as he threw on Hunter and Nirennold for Glendon and Davis.

Nirennold slotted in at right wing-back with McLaughlin moving inside to fit into Davis’ role with Dempsey and Grant forming a midfield two and Hunter deployed as a third striker.

The move made Fleetwood more dangerous on the counter with Nirennold sliding the ball across a gaping goal but no red shirt was there to turn it home.

Despite the fresh attacking line-up the ball just would not fall for Fleetwood in the box and it was the Shrews who continued to look likely to break the deadlock.

Pond and Bolger made a number of brave blocks throughout the game and Pond was on hand again to throw himself in front of a long range Dodds effort.

And the hosts were thwarted by the woodwork once again as the clock ticked towards full-time.

McLaughlin was judged to have impeded Toney as he beat the forward to the ball in the air and referee Trevor Kettle gave the hosts a set-piece centrally eight yards outside the box that Toney curled onto the top of the bar.

Town had two late chances to win it as Grant thundered the ball past the left stick and Bell nodded Hunter’s cross from the right over the bar.

Fleetwood: Cairns, McLaughlin, Davis (Nirennold, 64) Pond, Bolger, Bell, Glendon (Hunter, 64) Dempsey, Grant, Ball, Cole (Long, 72). Subs not used: Neal, Jonsson, Sowerby, Godswill.

Shrewsbury: Leutwiler, Sadler, McGivern, Black (Waring, 82) Toney (Jones, 90), Dodds, O’Brien, Brown, Smith, Deegan, El-Abd. Subs not used: Halstead, Lancashire, Grimmer, Jones.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.