MATCH REPORT: Fleetwood 3 Northampton 0

Uwe RoslerUwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler
Fleetwood Town's incredible unbeaten run rolls on as they made it 17 without loss thanks to a 3-0 win over Northampton.

Devante Cole gave Fleetwood the lead in the 42nd minute as he curled the ball home from an impossible angle after his initial shot was cleared off the line.

Northampton had a huge penalty shout waved away in the opening embers of the second half but Bobby Grant rifled the ball home in the 56th minute with David Ball putting the icing on the cake four minutes later with another sublime goal as he chipped the ball over Adam Smith.

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The result saw Town move level on points with second-placed Scunthorpe as they moved above Bolton to third in the league.

Fleetwood head coahc Uwe Rosler made one change to the side that won 1-0 at MK Dons last time out with Ball coming back in for Cameron Brannagan.

The first half was a case of one side wanting to get the ball down and play and the other side wanting to do anything but!

While Town tried to play their normal free-flowing passing football Northampton turned up ready to play the long ball game and exploit the swirling winds at Highbury and the old fashioned hoof it up football worked a treat for the Cobblers but despite creating four clear cut chances the visitors paid the price for missed opportunities with clinical Cole curling the ball in from the back line just before the break.

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Northampton should have taken taken an early lead thanks to a rare Cian Bolger error.

The defender has won virtually every header in this unbeaten run but it was he nodded the ball backwards into the path of Richards who raced towards the box and slid the ball across to Smith in acres of space on the right but his angled effort crashed onto the bar.

The visitors had another huge chance moments later as another long ball from the back was not dealt with by Town leading to Richards sneaking in but his strike was tipped around the post by a diving Cairns.

Amari’i Bell dramatically tumbled just outside the box on the left and Glendon’s curling set-piece was cleared off the line by a luminous yellow shirt.

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Taylor dented the advertising board with a fierce free-kick and Smith wasted another chance as he latched on to another long ball from the back but fired past the right stick after getting ahead of Town’s defence.

In the end Cole showed the visitors how it is done. Ball’s persistence and pressing saw him get to the ball ahead of Cobblers keeper Smith and he rolled it towards the on-running Cole. The striker’s initial effort was cleared off the line but fortuitously back to his feet and he skillfully curled the home.

Fleetwood built on that goal and came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half with Ball fizzing the ball just wide of the left stick and Bolger just nodding Glendon’s corner from the left over.

But Fleetwood were nearly the architects of their own downfall as Wylde appeared to be taken out late by Bolger but much to Justin Edinburgh’s disgust on the touchline a spot-kick was not awarded and Fleetwood made it two minutes later.

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Grant wriggled his way into space in the box and rifled the ball into the top left corner.

The game was put to bed in the 60th minute when Ball sprinted through on goal and deftly chipped the ball into the net to make it 13 for the season.

Rosler switched things up moments later sending Victor Nirennold on for George Glendon with right wing-back Conor McLaughlin moving into a central midfield role.

Hunter came on as the clock ticked down and the striker was shown a yellow card for a bad challenge on Taylor deep in Northampton’s half.

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Fleetwood tried in vain to get a fourth but despite some neat passages of play from Ball, Hunter, Brannagan and Nirennold they had to settle for just the three goals and another huge three points.

Fleetwood: Cairns, McLaughlin, Eastham, Bolger, Davies, Bell, Dempsey (Brannagan, 80), Glendon (Nirennold, 67), Grant, Ball, Cole (Hunter, 71). Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Schwabl, Maguire.

Northampton: Smith, Buchanan, Diamond, Anderson, Richards (Anderson, 65), Wylde (Boateng, 61), O’Toole, Nyatanga, Smith, Taylor (McCourt, 82), Eardley. Subs not used: Cornell, Zakuani, Beautyman, Phillips.

Referee: Andy Haines.

Attendance: 3361