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Fleetwood Town 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 16th Mar 2021 21:45

Former Town loanee Callum Connolly and Ged Garner were on target as Fleetwood deservedly defeated the Blues 2-0 at the Highbury Stadium. Connolly nodded the opener in the ninth minute and Garner added the second with a low shot on 57 with Town, who are down to seventh, never looking like they would get anything from the game.

Cole Skuse made his first start of the season in place of Flynn Downes in an otherwise unchanged Town line-up.

Skuse, a sub at the weekend having been out since pre-season with a knee injury which required surgery, took up his usual central midfield role alongside Andre Dozzell, Downes having suffered a hamstring injury in the 1-0 home win against Plymouth on Saturday.

Kayden Jackson again started with James Norwood, who has been suffering with back spasms and was in court this morning, absent from the 18, while Josh Harrop returned to the bench.

Former Blues loanee Connolly skippered Fleetwood, while on-loan Blues defender Janoi Donacien was ineligible against his parent club and 11-goal top scorer Callum Camps missed out due to a hamstring injury.

The Blues got off to a bright start and in the fourth minute an Alan Judge ball played into the path of Jackson breaking towards the penalty area was just cut out by a Fleetwood boot.

However, it was the Cod Army who would take the lead from the game’s first chance. A long throw was sent in from the right by James Hill and ex-Town loan man Connolly was unchallenged as he was allowed to nod backwards and across Tomas Holy and into the corner of the net.

Fleetwood, buoyed by their goal, went close again in the 16th minute when Garner shot not too far wide of Holy’s right post from just outside the box.

Town were struggling to keep hold of the ball, giving it away cheaply all too often, and on 18 Holy was forced to rush off his line to clear ahead of Kyle Vassell as the home side continued to push for a second.

Hard-working Fleetwood continued to look the better side but on 32 Gwion Edwards got round the outside of his man on the right and sent in a low ball to the near post which Jackson turned into the side-netting.

A minute later, Danny Andrew took a quick free-kick from deep and Hill almost found himself in on goal but the ball beat him and ran behind.

Well-drilled Fleetwood continued to look the more threatening side and in the 43rd minute they went close again. Vassell did well on the right and Garner took a touch before flicking a low effort from the near post towards goal which somehow stuck between Holy’s feet. It was a lucky escape for the Blues.

During one minute of added on time the game was delayed after Edwards challenged Jordan Rossiter somewhat recklessly midway inside the Fleetwood half. The home players briefly called for a red card but referee Gavin Ward showed only a yellow.

The Welshman was the more badly hurt of the two and was off the field hobbling as the half was brought to an end.

A very poor 45 minutes from the Blues against a well-organised Fleetwood side who could and should have been more than a goal in front.

Aside from a positive opening couple of minutes, Town had toiled having struggled to keep possession and with Edwards’s cross for Jackson their only chance of the half. Manager Paul Cook had cut a frustrated figure on the touchline.

Town changes of personnel to give the display a lift would have been little surprise but in the end there was only the enforced switch of the injured Edwards for Harrop.

The Cod Army started the second half positively and threatened for the first time on 47 when Dan Batty sent over a free-kick from the left and Vassell looped it on to the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, Vassell shot over from just inside the area after a Fleetwood break after a Town attack had broken down.

Dozzell almost scored an own goal of the season contender in the 55th minute when he miscued Holy’s punch from a corner in completely the wrong direction and only just wide of the post.

Fleetwood only had to wait another two minutes for their second goal, however. Vassell fed Garner towards the edge of the area and the 22-year-old hit a low drive just inside the post.

The home side were well worth doubling their lead with the Blues having shown no signs of improvement since the break.

On 61 there was another scare for Town when Holy gifted the ball to Will Burns inside the area as he and James Wilson exchanged passes but fortunately for the Blues the Fleetwood man took it out of play.

The Cod Army had their tails well and truly up and three minutes later Burns was sent away one-on-one with Holy on the right of the box but the Blues keeper was out quickly to block. Moments later, the big Czech was in action again, saving above his head from Vassell.

Blues boss Cook made a triple change in the 67th minute with Stephen Ward, Jack Lankester and Aaron Drinan replacing Kenlock, Parrott and Judge with Harrop moving into the number 10 role.

On 67 an Andrew shot was diverted away from goal by Toto Nsiala, then three minutes later Vassell shot over.

Sub Ward managed Town’s first effort on target in the 71st minute, the Irishman exchanging passes with Judge and bringing the ball in from the left before hitting a shot which under-worked home keeper Alex Cairns palmed into the air and over. From the corner, Nsiala rose highest but nodded against a defender.

Holy was given little trouble by Batty’s shot from the edge of the box in the 75th minute but with Fleetwood continuing to look the better team and the more likely scorers of the game’s third goal.

In the 81st minute, Skuse was replaced by Bishop, Fleetwood having swapped Rossiter for Harrison Biggins a couple of minutes earlier and Batty having been booked for kicking the ball away.

On 82 Biggins hit a shot into Holy’s arms from distance, before the home side replaced Sam Finley with Josh Morris.

Judge shot not too far wide from distance in the 89th minute, then as the game moved into five additional minutes, Fleetwood’s second goalscorer Garner made way for Harvey Saunders.

Moments before the whistle, Dozzell forced Cairns into a save with a strike from distance and Nsiala’s header from the resultant corner was saved but a goal would have flattered Town.

A lacklustre evening virtually from start to finish from the Blues, who never looked like they would get anything out of the match. They were poor in possession until the latter stages when the game was already lost, created little and allowed the home side enough chances to have won very comfortably.

The home side always looked in control, deserved their win and really ought to have scored more than twice.

After the positivity following his first win against Plymouth on Saturday, another display which will give new boss Cook plenty to ponder.

The Blues, now a place and two points behind sixth-placed Charlton but with two games in hand on the Addicks, are next in action at Portsmouth on Saturday with another away game following seven days later at Wigan.

Fleetwood: Cairns, Andrew, Connolly (c), Burns, Rossiter (Biggins 79), Vassell, Finley (J Morris 85), Batty, Garner (Saunders 90), Holgate, Hill. Unused: Coleman, Duffy, Rydel, S Morris.

Town: Holy, Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson, Kenlock (Ward 67), Dozzell, Skuse (Bishop 81), Edwards (Harrop 46), Parrott (Lankester 67), Judge, Jackson (Drinan 67). Unused: Cornell, Bennetts. Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Photo: Pagepix

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rnblue63 added 21:46 - Mar 16
Oh why do I keep kidding myself things are improving? That’s a further £10 waisted on watching yet another clueless, lifeless, abysmal, pathetic display. Enjoy your journey home guys it should give you plenty of time to reflect on a pitiful performance.

bringonbrazil added 21:46 - Mar 16
Utter gash

Bluearmy_81 added 21:47 - Mar 16
"Best squad in the league" you hear time and time again. Is it?! We had a decent Championship squad until clueless Evans allowed Hurst to dismantle it and replace it with a league one squad. That allowed him to save 6m though, will have paid a few bills. Shame about the effect on the team and the club but he's a clever businessman you see... 😴😴 Trust in Lord Evans, believe everything he says, all will be well. Have patience ffs it's only 14 years of failure...
Join Evans out of ITFC on facebook

londontractorboy57 added 21:47 - Mar 16
Cook out

BromleyBloo added 21:48 - Mar 16
Fleetwood not great - passed the ball around at the back, but largely a physical side that are long ball hit and hope. So our passing game will beat that, but no we actually match them at hoof ball so opening and the whole of the first half played at a million miles an hour, pretty even with not much between the sides and certainly not much to be impressed by. Disappointingly long throw to the six yard box and single header in after eight minutes - Holy has to come for that?!? Kenlock gave the ball away a few times, Skuse looked off the pace, Edwards also poor and we didn’t create a chance in the whole half.................?

Crying out for Bishop - we bought on Harrop??? So second half much the same and then caught on the break and 2-0. More of the same and wholesale changes needed, but subs made late and first shot on target not until 71st minute! Really scrappy game - reminded me of Gillingham - and similarly our performance was very poor, with little/no quality. Two chances at the very end in extra time, but already too late and game lost. Fleetwood not very good, but we were worse and let them bully/dominate us.

We missed Norwood or anybody who was actually prepared to venture in to their penalty area. Holy okay after not coming for the first goal, but all the rest pretty hopeless.

Other results really went our way again so damage limited to some extent or to put it correctly a real opportunity missed............

No chance of us getting promoted playing like that and we need to be much better at Portsmouth on Sat..................

Taricco_Fan added 21:48 - Mar 16
Most of this squad can go, "star" players like Dozzell included. They are stealing a living.

Trouble is, who will buy the players we can't release?

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 21:49 - Mar 16
Not one of our better performances! Hopefully fresh start next season.

Foreverdon_Blue added 21:49 - Mar 16
New Manager, same old sh*te!!

johnwarksshorts added 21:49 - Mar 16
I lots count of the amount of times Brenner said we gave the ball away. Clueless, spineless, no passion. Does anyone in that team care. Good luck PC you have a huge task.

itfc1974 added 21:49 - Mar 16
Well done to Fleetwood, they outplayed us in every position. Did Skuse touch the ball?

multiplescoregasms added 21:49 - Mar 16
Utter tosh. This squad needs to be culled asap. Even if we by some miracle get promoted this season, too many of them just aren't good enough. Hope PC has already got replacements lined up, otherwise next season will be just like the last 2. Shame.

Bluespeed added 21:50 - Mar 16
Cooky baby will learn a lot more about the crap players tonight than in a lucky win or draw , massive clear out no question!!

Ipswichbusiness added 21:50 - Mar 16
It didn’t take long for Chambers and Skuse to cast their spell on Paul Cook.

As soon as I saw the headline that Skuse was starting I knew that the evening would end badly for us.

dunkleberrydog added 21:51 - Mar 16
Every one of these small teams we play seems to have so much more determination to get to the second ball, and to pressure and close us down...leaving our players floundering, unable to seize control of the ball or the play. Fleetwood were easily the better side tonight. A massive disappointment. Our players are not responding any better under the new Paul....

midastouch added 21:51 - Mar 16
Skuse said top two was still within reach in this article:

Well unless his arms have grown a few feet since this morning then it's never going to happen.

Our continued lack of goal threat (even at this lower level) remains a huge concern. Just one shot on target tonight says it all. Our prospects remain dim and grim until we finally find somebody that has the knack of being able to put it in the back of the net (and also stay fit).

Cloddyseedbed added 21:51 - Mar 16
Disgraceful performance right through the team against yet another very ordinary side. No urgency, lethargic. Paul Cook you have a huge job to rebuild for next season. I have watched every game this season and it's a if the players don't want it. You can't blame tiredness, every team is tired. We deserved nothing and got nothing.

londontractorboy57 added 21:51 - Mar 16
I blame Skuse well might as well hes always the first in line along side Chambo

Norwichbeater added 21:51 - Mar 16
I know it is early days but haven’t seen any change in formation or tactics from Cook compared to Lambert. In fact tonight’s game and the game against gillingham are about as bad as it gets. We haven’t even had a new manager honeymoon period 😕. The players are a disgrace. They are lazy and uninterested. If lambert was still in charge and we had played chambers, skuse and ward god only knows what the response from fans would be tonight. I don’t know what the answer is but I just don’t see any change at all. So sad.

Dolphinblue added 21:52 - Mar 16
What the F....K was that......Skuse, Jackson utterly useless. Out muscled once again by a physical team. Wow so so poor massive clear out needed and pls pls pls at the end of the season put Skuse and Chambers out to pasture..dear oh dear..

TimmyH added 21:52 - Mar 16
I think some of our players went on the pitch tonight knowing they were playing a team with a red shirt and white sleeves and playing at Highbury and believing Fleetwood were Arsenal but we half made them look like the gunners!

No commitment, no quality, no plan and outfought from the start again just like at Accrington, the whole game against Gillingham and now this. I don't think 1 player can come out of this game tonight with his head up. If PC gets us in the play-offs it will be a miracle.

timkatieadamitfc added 21:53 - Mar 16
Well that was absolute rubbish,just got ourselves back into playoffs and put in a performance like that, have to say it was as bad as any game under Lambert and we wouldn’t have scored if we’d still been playing this time next week. We look toothless upfront unless Norwood plays. To be fair though it was 9 against 13 as all Dozzell and Skuse did was give possession away, and don’t get me started on skuse - back to his crab like best going sideways and backwards bringing absolutely nothing to the team. If the team remains same for Saturday I’m not wasting another £10 and can’t see who would after display.
So disappointing as we could have put daylight between us and 7th tonight and we go and play like that. Still believe Cooke is good appointment for us but he has his work cut out, could start by playing 4-4-2 though as laughably the closest we came was Dozzells shot at his own goal.
Will be out the playoffs Saturday if we play like this again and won’t matter if we do make them as how are we to beat teams like Sunderland,Peterborough or hull playing like that

jonju11 added 21:53 - Mar 16
B******s performance. Too many kids in the team with no physicality. Powder puffs & no character. In need of some barstads on the pitch.
They try to play as though they are still under 21’s.
Jackson out all together & just use Drinan or Hawkins if fit.
Ward shot; Dozzell has it but far too cocky. Lankester, Bishop, Parrott too lightweight.
Probably will need 4 seasoned players next season.
I’m afraid we need a good clear out at end of season. ( Bishop, lankester, Jackson, Ward, Partott Harrow Holy as a minimum. Need a good young keeper as well)
We will be lucky to break into top 6 with 8 Away games left. 😩😩

ChrisR added 21:53 - Mar 16
Only scored in recent games through give aways , dead ball , or defenders .We are almost incapable of constructing a deliberate attacking move resulting in a shot on target .
Don't matter who the manager is , even Alex F could not get a tune out of this bunch!


bluechelmsford9 added 21:54 - Mar 16
Fleetwood played well tonight but what I can’t stand is they wanted it more than us. Paul Cook really has his work cut-out when players don’t have the right attitude like the players he has inherited - I actually feel sorry for him.

LonE17Blue added 21:54 - Mar 16
The sooner Evans sells, and takes his Poisoned Chalice with him the better!

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