Fleetwood Town striker Conor McAleny misses today’s clash with AFC Wimbledon due to injury.
Fleetwood striker Conor McAleny missed the clash due to injury but was in the stands to see his replacement Cole net twice.
McAleny hobbled off with what looked like an ankle injury in Town’s 1-0 win over Northampton last weekend, Rosler was as coy as ever about the extent of the striker’s injury but he was not fit enough to feature with Sixfields goal hero Cole handed his first league start of the season and elevated back into the starting line-up.
The German made one further change to the side with Burnley loanee Aiden O’Neill handed his first league start in place of George Glendon who moved to the bench.
Ash Hunter also returned to the match day squad after missing out on a place to Ashley Nadesan at Northampton with both forwards joining Wes Burns on the bench.
Due to the windy conditions and AFC Wimbledon’s game-plan Fleetwood struggled to get the ball down and play their usual free-flowing passing game in the opening 15 minutes.
But as soon as they did manage to get midfield maestro Kyle Dempsey on the ball the pockets of space appeared for Fleetwood and he played a key role in Town’s opening goal.
The former Terrier picked the ball up and ran at the opposition before sliding the ball from the right over to Hiwula in the middle, he rolled the ball to his left where Cole was waiting on the corner of the box and he curled the ball home in the 19th minute.
Bobby Grant blasted an effort wide as Fleetwood looked a threat on the ball as the half wore on.
They had to battle on set-pieces with Wimbledon whipping the ball into the mix at any given opportunity. But Town’s defence handled the physical questions posed of them by Neal Ardley’s side.
And it was Cole once again who did the damage, owed once again to the vision of Dempsey.
The midfielder fizzed an inch-perfect pass down the left channel for Cole to race on to and the striker did the rest from there, cutting inside before sweetly curling the ball into the top corner in the 57th minute.
That goal sparked a reaction from the opposition as the Dons piled bodies forward in search of a way back into the game as Town sat back and allowed them to take control.
They were a whisker away from getting that breakthrough but Cody McDonald nodded the ball onto the woodwork with Town forced to make some key blocks as the crosses continued to be fired into the mix.
Lyle Taylor was guilty of wasting two of the Dons’ best chances to get back into it as he took too long to release the trigger with just Cairns to beat and skimming the ball past the right post as Fleetwood absorbed the pressure and broke on the counter with Hiwula’s pace giving the opposition a headache.
Fleetwood: Cairns, Bolger, Pond, Eastham, Coyle, Dempsey, O’Neill (Schwabl, 89), Bell, Grant, Hiwula (Nadesan, 90), Cole (Hunter, 88). Subs not used: Neal, Burns, Godswill.