Fleetwood Town 2 Rotherham United 1

Conor McLaughlin celebrates his winner    Picture: ROB LOCK
Conor McLaughlin celebrates his winner Picture: ROB LOCK
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A stunning goal from Conor McLaughlin fired Fleetwood Town within touching distance of a Wembley final.

The full back scored his first ever goal for Fleetwood Town with 20 minutes remaining to seal victory in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area semi final and leave Town just 180 minutes from their first major final.

Jeff Hughes poked the ball through the legs of Adam Collin to give Fleetwod a half time lead.

But the Millers battled back and made early second half pressure count when Nouha Dicko pounced to claim an equaliser.

The goal spurred Town on and McLaughlin decided the tie from 25 yards, curling the ball past Collin after Matty Blair’s run was ended by Ben Pringle.

Town will face Chesterfield over two legs in the northern area final.

Manager Graham Alexander hailed the ‘out of this world’ strike which sealed the tie.

He said: “I think the lads have really responded to the challenge of playing clubs from the higher division.

“It was a tough game, it was to-and-fro.

“They equalised after a good spell of pressure but I thought the response from the team to that was fantastic.

“It would have been easy for it to be a negative one, having given away the lead in the last two games.

“But I thought their goal galvanised us.

“We had to defend, which you have to do against good teams.

“But we created chances ourselves and the winning goal was out of this world.”