MATCH REPORT: Bristol City 0 Fleetwood 0

Uwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler
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Fleetwood Town are still in the hat for the FA Cup fourth round draw after a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Bristol City.

Town made it 12 games unbeaten at the Championship side and clinched a replay that will now take place on Tuesday January 17 at Highbury.

That means Town still have the chance of making it to the fourth round of the competition for the first time in their history.

Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler made two changes to the side that won 1-0 at Shrewsbury on Monday.

Chris Long and Victor Nirennold moved to the bench with rested duo David Ball and George Glendon returning to the starting line-up.

Glendon slotted into his usual central midfield role with McLaughlin moving back to right wing-back as Rosler matched City up with his current favoured 3-5-2 formation.

Flint nodded way off target but it was Fleetwood who should have opened the scoring. Cole used his pace to out-fox City’s new PNE signing Bailey Wright and get in behind on the right, his dangerous ball across the six-yard box was met by Ball but his first time effort at the near post was just tipped away by Fielding.

Had that gone in it could have been a different story with the grumbling home fans desperate to pick up a win after losing nine of their previous 10 games.

Cairns comfortably collected Tomlin’s deflected effort but Town were saved by a lack of composure from another City new boy forward Milan Djuric who was sent one-on-one with Cairns thanks to a deft Tomlin chip over the Town defence but the forward’s left-footed effort crashed past the left post and into the side netting.

Cole got in on the right once again but as he approached the box at angle he unselfishly tried to square it to Ball but his pass was just behind the forward’s run as he tried to dart towards the near post.

Up the other end Tomlin raced past a host of blue shirts and with nobody putting a tackle in was able to get a shot in at the edge of the box but fortunately his effort was once again straight at Cairns.

Cairns survived fumbling a dangerous Tomlin right wing cross with Abraham hovering and Town threatened up the other end once again after another fine cross-field move saw Town drift from left to right with ease before McLaughlin’s cut back from the right was lifted over by Bell at the back post.

An uncharacteristic wobble at the back nearly saw City open the scoring as Little somehow managed to sneak into the box and run one-on-one with Cairns but the keeper managed to get his body in the way and the ball fortuitously just missed the run of City hot-shot Abraham.

With both sides playing with 5-3-2 wing-back formations it was an open affair and Fleetwood threatened once again just before the break as Pond nodded Glendon’s corner from the right way off target.

Bryan and Brownhill played a neat one-two on the edge of Town’s box with the latter’s low fizzing effort just flying wide of the right stick.

City made a substitution at the break with number one Fielding replaced by shot-stopper Richard O’Donnell.

Hegeler tried his luck from distance as the former Hertha Berlin man fizzed the ball wide of the left stick.

Cole and Bell combined well on the left but after Bell had slid the ball back inside to Cole all he could do was smash the ball straight into a defender with City countering. That counter eventually lead to Abraham cutting inside from City’s left and his low, hard strike just rolled past the left post with Cairns unsighted and rooted to the spot.

Davies tried to play the ball out from the back but only found the feet of Tomlin but the City man’s chip fortunately dropped over the bar.

After that City chance Rosler threw on the fresh legs of Hunter for the tired Cole and he made an immediate impact as his pressing of O’Donnell lead to the keeper fluffing the ball straight to Ball in the box but he took too much time allowing a red shirt time to get back and intercept his pass to Hunter.

Rosler is still managing Dempsey’s return from a leg injury and the midfielder made way in the 68th minute for striker Long with Ball dropping back into a right midfield role.

An uncharacteristic slip by skipper Pond nearly saw Abraham sprint one-on-one with Cairns but the defender managed to get back and did enough to put the forward off with his eventual effort flying way wide.

With Glendon appearing to hobble a bit Rosler made his final change to bring the on-loan Manchester City man off, throw Nirennold on at right wing-back and move McLaughlin into a central midfield role.

As Town tired Abraham got more and more into the game as he fired way wide of the left stick and then wasted a free header as he rose above the pack at the back stick to nod Brownhill inswinging set-piece wide after Nirennold had chopped down Bryan.

City wasted yet another set-piece as giant defender Flint nodded another one over the bar with both sides throwing bodies up and going for a win.

Hunter saw an angled effort fly into O’Donnell’s arms but it ended all square.

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns, McLaughlin, Bolger, Pond, Davies, Bell, Dempsey (Long, 68), Glendon (Nirennold, 77), Grant, Ball, Cole (Hunter, 60). Subs not used: Neal, Davis, Jonsson, Sowerby.

Bristol City: Fielding (O’Donnell, 46), Little, Flint, Wright, Bryan, Hegeler, Brownhill, Smith (Pack, 44), Tomlin (Paterson, 80), Djuric, Abraham. Subs not used: Golbourne, Freeman, Wilbraham, Engvall

10301 (236 Fleetwood)