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3-1
09 February 2021 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Fleetwood Town vs Rovers

9 February 2021

Rovers travel to face Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night looking to make it six straight wins in Sky Bet League One.

Darren Moore’s side beat in-form Oxford United in their last outing, with goals from Jon Taylor, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Taylor Richards sealing all three points at the Keepmoat Stadium. 

WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood’s recent form 

The Cod Army have failed to win any of their past six league games, stretching back to a 1-0 home defeat against Portsmouth on January 16. They were beaten 3-1 at MK Dons three days later, before back-to-back goalless draws against Wigan Athletic and Northampton Town respectively.  

Since then, they have been beaten at Oxford and held to another stalemate at home to Bristol Rovers last time out. 

 

The man in charge 

Simon Grayson was appointed as Fleetwood head coach at the end of January, replacing Joey Barton in the role. Grayson has a wealth of experience at Sky Bet League One level, winning promotion from this level with four different clubs – Blackpool, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Preston North End. 

He has also managed Sunderland and Bradford City in more recent times, and also returned to Blackpool for a short spell in 2019. 

 

Ones to watch 

Danny Andrew  

Someone who is well known to Rovers fans, Andrew spent two seasons with the club before joining Fleetwood in the summer of 2019.  

Having joined Rovers from Grimsby Town, Andrew’s first season was ended early after he suffered a knee injury following just a handful of appearances. His second one though proved to be much more successful, as he played a key role in Grant McCann’s side securing a place in the play-offs.

  

Callum Camps  

The creative midfielder joined Fleetwood in the summer after his seven-year stay with fellow Sky Bet League One side Rochdale came to an end. Having come through the youth system at the Crown Oil Arena, Camps made 240 appearances for the club before heading for pastures new.  

He has made a fine start to life with Fleetwood, scoring 10 goals in 25 appearances in his debut season with the club.  

 

Paddy Madden  

Madden joined Fleetwood in January 2018 from Scunthorpe United and has continued his goalscoring exploits during his time at Highbury. Having helped Yeovil Town to promotion to the Sky Bet Championship in the 2012/13 campaign, he then helped the Iron go up to the third tier in 2014.   

The Irish striker spent four years at Glanford Park before his move to Fleetwood. He is approaching 50 goals for the club with a strike rate of a goal every three games.  

 

Last time out 

Fleetwood beat Rovers 2-1 when the two sides last met at Highbury back in February 2020. Ched Evans and Harry Souttar had put the home side in control, before Niall Ennis scored what turned out to be a consolation goal.  

 

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Match Reports

REPORT | Fleetwood Town 3 Rovers 1

9 February 2021

Rovers' Highbury hoodoo continues as they fail to take anything from Fleetwood.

Rovers winning start to 2021 came to an end at the hands of a revitalised Fleetwood Town. Two goals in six, second half minutes changed the tide of the game after Rovers had taken an early lead through Jason Lokilo. 

Kyle Vassell drew the hosts level on the hour mark and Paddy Madden gave them the lead soon after. Any hope of a comeback was thwarted late on when Danny Andrew curled in a third from the edge of the box.  

Darren Moore handed out starts to new signings Scott Robertson and John Bostock as he made three changes to the side that beat Oxford United on the previous weekend. Taylor Richards, Madger Gomes and Jon Taylor all dropped to the bench.

Rovers got off to the perfect start against a side who had conceded very few goals in the league so far in this campaign when Jason Lokilo bagged his first goal in Rovers colours to put his side in the lead.

The joy didn’t last long as just five minutes later, Moore’s men were dealt a big blow as skipper Tom Anderson was forced off with a head injury following a succession of vicious looking corners from the home side.

Fleetwood certainly didn’t play like a team who had been struggling for wins and captain Paddy Madden was proving to be a real handful for the Rovers defence, while the diagonal cross field passes were finding the host’s wide men in plenty of space and able to cause damage.

Their first real chance of the first half came 20 minutes in. Fleetwood won a free kick in a dangerous area and while Rovers were able to clear the initial danger, the ball was worked to Danny Andrew at the edge of the box whose left-footed strike was only narrowly wide.

In a battle of the full-backs, Brad Halliday forged a chance of his own as he made a marauding run forward down the right and let fly narrowly wide of the far post. Cameron John was next to go close – really neat play between him and Reece James down the left got John into a wonderful position in the opposition box. His attempt to lift the ball over ‘keeper Alex Cairns and into the far corner was ambitious and slightly misjudged.

Fleetwood hit back with a few shots from distance. Charlie Mulgrew, Madden and Dan Batty all going close with efforts from around the box, but undoubtedly the best chance of the half fell to Kyle Vassall who did everything right from picking up the ball and dancing through Rovers defence but, while his effort was on target, it was close to Ellery Balcombe who did what he had to do to keep it out.

Despite the host’s having the better of the play for that period, it was the Rovers who went closest to getting the second goal just before half-time as Joe Wright – who had come on in place of Anderson – showed strikers instincts to meet a free kick by Matt Smith and toe it on target. It was a good save by Cairns to deny him.

The home side picked up where they left off with a few pot shots from distance in the opening minutes which did little to trouble Balcombe.  

Rovers took a little longer to create a chance but demonstrated good patience to work an opportunity through to Reece James who appeared at the edge of the box and managed to turn away from his defender and get some space. He hit a half-shot half-cross toward the far post but no one was there to knock it in. 

Fleetwood equalised on the hour mark when Vassell – who had looked most likely for the home side – capitalised from a corner – which had provided their best opportunities throughout. Once again the initial danger from the delivery was dealt with but it fell to Vassell who let fly through a sea of bodies to draw the game level. 

Fleetwood’s second was a goal completely of Rovers making. An under-hit back pass by Madger Gomes drew Balcombe way off his line but Madden was always favourite to get to the ball first, took it away from the keeper and had the whole goal to aim at. He couldn’t and didn’t miss to put Fleetwood ahead. 

The introduction of Taylor Richards and Jon Taylor breathed some life into the Rovers attack and the visitors certainly had the best of the closing minutes. Richards picked out Taylor whose shot was on target but lacked the pace to trouble Cairns.  

Minutes later, Rovers earned another big chance with more good play down the right. This time it was Halliday’s cross which caused problems and Okenabirhie met it well at the near post but somehow put it wide. 

John was next to go close - his ball towards the back post looked like it might have been creeping in but was well saved by Cairns. 

Any hope of a comeback was thwarted when Danny Andrew curled the ball beyond Balcombe late on to make it 3-1.

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