MATCH REPORT: Bury 0 Fleetwood 0
'Good teams when they don't win they don't lose and that is what we have proved to do this season...'
That was how Fleetwood defender Ash Eastham summed up Town’s hard-fought 0-0 draw at Bury.
It was far from pretty but even with another reshuffle at the back thanks to another potential injury blow Town’s defence was once again rock solid as they made it six clean sheets from their last seven games.
While at the start of the season it was the front men who shone, now it is the back-line’s turn to shine as they got Rosler’s injury-ravaged side over the line once again and added another vital point to the tally with Town third with seven games to go.
There was a big boost before kick-off with the news that skipper Nathan Pond (calf) and midfielder Martyn Woolford (knee) were fit enough to be named on the bench.
While Rosler made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with AFC Wimbledon last weekend.
With Conor McLaughlin away on international duty with Northern Ireland Godswill Ekpolo was given the nod at right wing-back with Cameron Brannagan in for Ash Hunter as Bobby Grant was utilised as a striker.
Bury started strongly in a tame first half of football at Gigg Lane and were straight in the action as the hosts had an early shout for a penalty waved away.
Jacob Mellis went down under pressure from Cian Bolger in the box but Premier League referee Kevin Friend rightly did not bat an eyelid.
Grant curled the ball twice into the arms of Joe Murphy with David Ball engineering a good move that saw the rebound from his angled effort just nicked off Brannagan’s toe with the on-loan Liverpool man about to pull the trigger.
Fleetwood were hit by a fresh injury blow as centre-half Ben Davies limped off with Pond not ready for an early cameo so Joe Davis slotted in on the right of the back three and Eastham moved over to Davies’ left sided spot.
Bury had the two biggest chances of the half as a rare defensive mix-up at the back saw James Vaughan latch onto a back pass before smashing the ball straight at Alex Cairns with Paul Caddis volleying an inventive corner routine way over the bar.
Fleetwood were a whisker away from taking the lead just before the break as Kyle Dempsey’s effort from distance crashed into the inside of the post.
It would have been cruel on Bury had they gone in a goal down with Lee Clark’s side organised and nullifying Town’s counter attacking threat.
Bury started strongly once again as Davis was punished for clambering over a Bury player and the Shakers nearly took the lead from the subsequent set-piece.
Jermaine Pennant’s pin-point ball in found the head of the unmarked Vaughan at the back stick but he nodded the ball straight at Cairns.
It was the one time Town’s defence faltered as Vaughan managed to escape his marker but he did not punish Town and they bolted up once again.
Rosler threw Hunter on in the 64th minute as he joined Ball up front with Grant moving back into midfield but Bury still enjoyed the majority of the play.
Fleetwood absorbed the pressure from the hosts with Bolger nodding a Dempsey corner over the bar and Murphy just doing enough to tip a header off his own man on to the post as a scramble ensued in the hosts’ box.
George Glendon came off the bench for Markus Schwabl as the game became more open with both sides looking for a goal.
George Miller countered from a Fleetwood attack but he chose the wrong option opting to pass rather than go for goal with Town on the ropes.
And Hunter nearly broke his duck as he wriggled his way into the opposition box but his fierce effort flashed wide of the left stick with Miller firing wide up the other end.
Unusually for Town there was some late panic at the back as Bury pushed on to try and nab a winner with Godswill mis-kicking a clearance straight to Greg Leigh but his fierce strike was batted away by Cairns as Town once again kept a clean sheet.
But another clean sheet cannot mask the lack of firepower and creativity up front.
Town have now failed to fire in their last two games.
Rosler needs to find a Plan C this week to get the goals flowing again and get the fresh legs of Devante Cole (groin) and Wes Burns (ankle) back to take some of the pressure off Ball and Hunter and allow them to play with the creativity and ingenuity they did in the first half of the campaign.