MATCH REPORT: Swindon 1 Fleetwood 1

Uwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler

Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns made a crucial second-half spot-kick save to ensure Fleetwood left the County Ground with a point.

David Ball swept home Ash Hunter’s cross in the 22nd minute as Fleetwood fought back to level after Swindon’s Luke Norris had nodded past Cairns in the 11th minute.

But it was to be Cairns’ day as he guessed the right way and tipped away Michael Doughty’s penalty in the 49th minute as Fleetwood stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.

Rosler made three changes to the side that beat Shrewsbury 3-2 in the FA Cup on Tuesday with Ash Hunter, David Ball and George Glendon coming in for Eggert Jonsson, Joe Davis and the injured Jack Sowerby.

Ball was deployed in a right midfield role as Fleetwood boss Rosler opted for a 4-3-3 formation with a plethora of attacking options on the pitch.

It was an explosive start by Fleetwood with Cole teeing-up Long but his first-time effort flew tamely over the bar.

Swindon gave the ball away carelessly at times but Fleetwood could not punish them despite crisply spraying the ball across the pitch.

The hosts looked flimsy in defence but attacked with pace and took the lead with their first real attempt on goal.

Pond managed to get the ball away from Hilton in the box but only to Furlong on the right wing and his cross is nodded in by Norris who rose above McLaughlin at the back post in the 11th minute.

Despite the set-back Rosler’s men continued to play their fast-flowing attacking football and with four strikers on the pitch Town were a constant goal threat.

The equaliser eventually came in the 22nd minute as Hunter raced in on the right of the box before putting the ball on a plate for Ball to sweep in his ninth of the season.

It is pantomime season and Swindon had a theatrical penalty appeal rightly waved away by the referee. Keeper Cairns raced out to the right corner of his box to stop the on-rushing Ormonde-Ottewill, the shot-stopper got to the ball first but took the Swindon man out with his follow through.

The half ended all square but Swindon were straight out of the blocks. Hylton out foxed Fleetwood’s ex-Swindon left back Amari’i Bell but his cross in from the right was miss-kicked by Doughty fortuitously into the path of Norris but he blasted over.

Cairns came to Fleetwood’s rescue in the 49th minute as he guessed the right was to tip away Doughty’s tame penalty kick. Referee Darren Deadman had pointed to the spot after Pond was penalised for impeding Hylton as he tried to usher him out of play. It was ninth time lucky for Fleetwood from the penalty spot as all eight of the previous spot-kicks that have been given against them this term have been converted.

As the half wore on Rosler brought Long off and shifted from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 wing-back formation with Nirennold slotting in at right wing-back and McLaughlin moving inside to a defensive three.

Cole was cynically pulled back by Branco as he threatened to run onto a long ball from the back. The referee rightly yellow carded the Swindon man and Fleetwood nearly took the lead from the subsequent set-piece as the ball pinged to Grant just outside the box but his deflected effort clattered into the underside of the bar.

Glendon played a corner short to Bell who’s miss-kick fell to Cole but his effort was deflected wide. Fleetwood striker Ball had the best chance from the subsequent corner as Swindon tried to scramble numerous Fleetwood efforts away with Cole appearing to be brought down in the box in the build up.

The game ended all square with Fleetwood dropping to eighth despite the point after Southend’s win at Oldham saw them overtake Rosler’s men in the table.

Fleetwood: Cairns, McLaughlin, Pond, Bolger, Bell, Ball, Glendon (Jonsson, 89), Grant, Hunter (Jakubiak, 69), Long (Nirennold, 55), Cole. Subs not used: Amadi-Holloway, Davis, Haughton.

Swindon: Vigouroux, Thompson, Ormonde-Ottewill (Smith, 90), Rodgers (Murray, 46), Doughty, Kasim, Furlong, Hylton, Jones, Rossi Branco, Norris. Subs not used: Henry, Thomas, Goddard, Evans, Delfouneso.

Refree: Darren Deadman.

Attendance: 6,143 (56 Fleetwood)