Match report: Scunthorpe United 0 Fleetwood Town 2

It's a happy 18th for Fleetwood Town as they moved into the automatic promotion places in League One.

Saturday, 4th March 2017, 5:07 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:50 am
Fleetwood Town's Devante Cole celebrates scoring

Goals in each half from Devante Cole and Bobby Grant saw Uwe Rosler’s side leapfrog their hosts and take their unbeaten run to two games short of 20.

Rosler had made two changes from the side which defeated Northampton Town a week earlier.

Amari’i Bell and George Glendon were the men to make way with Markus Schwabl recalled and a debut for Joe Maguire.

Graham Alexander also made two changes after his side’s midweek home defeat against AFC Wimbledon.

Out went Craig Davies and Duane Holmes with Kevin van Veen and Matt Crooks named in their place.

It was Town who started much the better of the two sides, bossing the opening 10 minutes.

They could have taken a third minute lead when Cian Bolger ran onto Kyle Dempsey’s corner but could only send a header straight at Luke Daniels.

Two minutes later and the lively David Ball fashioned a yard of space inside the 18-yard box but saw his effort blocked by David Mirfin.

The home side rode out that early storm, however, and enjoyed their own spell of dominance with Town keeper Alex Cairns twice coming to his side’s rescue.

An acrobatic save saw Crooks’ header tipped over before he kept out Van Veen’s effort from an increasingly tight angle.

Paddy Madden volleyed over Cairns’ crossbar when he might have taken an extra touch before the deadlock was broken with half-time approaching.

Schwabl won possession and fed Dempsey, who then linked up with Ball before finding Schwabl, whose run behind the defence saw him square the ball to Cole for a tap-in.

A goalmouth scramble ended with Cairns pushing the ball over the bar as half-time came with Town in front.

The second half, in contrast, was a much scrappier affair with a number of fouls restricting any flow to the play.

Town were unable to replicate some of their first-half attacking play, while their hosts huffed and puffed for an equaliser but without the quality – or luck – required.

Two goals were ruled out, firstly for an offside decision against Stephen Dawson, and then for a foul on Cairns as he collected van Veen’s free kick.

The latter also flashed a shot across the face of goal and saw an inswinging free kick well held by Cairns as United became increasingly desperate in their search for an equaliser.

Both sides shuffled their pack but it was Town who applied the killer blow in the 90th minute.

They broke at speed with Grant collecting Ball’s pass before taking a touch and finishing clinically.

There was still time for Ball to curl a shot narrowly off target but it mattered little as Rosler’s players laid down a marker for the remainder of the season given the magnitude of this game.

Scunthorpe United: Daniels, Clarke, Mirfin (Wiseman 82), Wallace, Townsend, Bishop (Holmes 70), Dawson (Toney 82), Crooks, van Veen, Madden, Crooks. Subs not used: Anyon, Hopper, Goode, Davies.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Eastham, Bolger, Davies, McLaughlin, Schwabl, Dempsey (Brannagan 74), Grant, Maguire (Nirennold 67), Ball, Cole (Hunter 74). Subs not used: Neal, Glendon, Sowerby, Ekpolo.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

Attendance: 5,541.