Fleetwood Town 0 York 0
Town’s struggle for goals continues as this season’s second goal-less stalemate at Highbury means Micky Mellon’s side have scored only once in four games since the opening day win at Grimsby.
But, at least this was a vast improvement on the 4-0 hammering at Barrow, three nights earlier, and with so many new players to integrate, it’s no surprise that there is little continuity from the heroics of last season.
Town have signed 14 players since then, giving debuts to 12 of them in five games.
Latest recruits Jamie Vardy and Danny Holmes formed a new right flank combination last night.
Vardy, the free-scoring and much sought-after wideman from Halifax had only been confirmed as a Town player earlier in the day, and was the official man of the match, while right-back Holmes has joined on loan from Tranmere to further ease an eight-man injury list which now includes Gareth Seddon.
The two new arrivals were among Mellon’s four changes, as last season’s top scorer Magno Vieira got his first start of the season, while Scott Brown was recalled in a central midfield role.
Vardy looked dangerous in the first minute, linking up menacingly with Vieira, whose shot was blocked.
Richard Brodie’s firm free-kick was comfortably stopped by York keeper Michael Ingham, though neither keeper was troubled again in the opening 20 minutes.
Town, still taking time to adapt to a Blackpool-style 4-3-3 system, were at least looking comfortable at the back.
That was until the 23rd minute, when, twice in a matter of seconds, Patrick McLaughlin was gifted free headers, the first flicked straight at Scott Davies from a corner, the second sailing harmlessly wide.
Town’s Jamie McGuire was booked for a wild lunge on Lanre Oyebanjo, while Vieira’s deflected shot brought a diving save from Ingham.
Mellon got most animated when referee Steve Bratt denied his side an advantage to book Ashley Chambers, but there was little for the crowd to get excited about until the York player burst clear in the 33rd minute, but curled his shot wide.
The Vardy-Vieira connection looked Town’s most likely route to an opener, though Brodie’s dangerous cross was well cut out by Ingham, as Town ended the half strongly.
The first half had failed to produce a clear-cut chance, but one arrived just two minutes into the second.
Vardy’s shot was blocked and fell for Alex-Rae Harvey, who fired wide with time and space 10 yards out.
Brodie clearly relished the idea of scoring against his former club, but his 25-yard drive flew straight into Ingham’s midriff, while Holmes crossed just too high for Vardy, who cut in from the right to fire powerfully wide on 56 minutes.
Vardy broke dangerously down the left just past the hour, but an off-balance Brodie could only loop his header over.
York’s best chance arrived on 69 minutes, when Chamers delivered a teasing cross, but would have wished it had not been centre-half David McGurk on the end of it, as he turned the ball wide from six yards.
Town countered immediately, attacking with purpose down the left, but Brown’s low drive didn’t test the keeper.
Mellon resisted the crowd’s calls to introduce Jamie Milligan until the 82nd minute, and the Town talisman almost did the trick, but three minutes later Ingham’s double save denied Brodie and then Harvey, as Town’s late assault fizzled out.
Fleetwood Town: Davies, Holmes, Atkinson, McNulty, Edwards, Vardy, Harvey, McGuire, Brown (Milligan 82), Vieira, Brodie. Subs not used: St Louis-Hamilton, Goodall, Briggs, Donnelly.
Bookings: McGuire, Harvey.
York: Ingham, Oyebanjo, McGurk, Smith, Meredith, Boucaud (Fyfield 77), Kerr, McLaughlin (Challinor 56), Chambers, Walker, Moke (Pilkington 61). Subs not used: Parslow, Reed.
Bookings: Oyebanjo, McLaughlin, Boucaud.
Referee: Steve Bratt (West Midlands).