MATCH REPORT: Bury 0 Fleetwood 2
What a difference a week makes.
What a difference a week makes.Christmas came late for Fleetwood this year with a fine 2-1 Boxing Day win at Oldham followed up with another festive feast at Bury.Ash Hunter and Devante Cole ensured Fleetwood ended 2017 on a high with a 2-0 win at basement club Bury.It was one of those games and days that you felt could go either way for Town, on paper given Bury's league position at the foot of the table and a side devoid of confidence it looked a set three points.But add into the mix former Town assistant boss Chris Lucketti's search for a first win since he took on his first full managerial role at Gigg Lane, then you sensed an upset could have been on the cards.And it certainly looked that way in the opening 20 minutes. But in Ash Hunter and Devante Cole Town have two clinical strikers and with Bury wasteful Town went for the jugular to secure back-to-back wins and enter the New Year 11 just two days after the relegation word had echoed around Highbury. Six points in the space of five days now means Rosler's side are back looking towards the top of the tree rather than over their shoulder.And this performance at Bury was all the more satisfying given it looked a real return to the Town side we have been used to seeing since Rosler's arrival full of crisp passing and counter-attacking ingenuity mixed with a real fight and never say die mentality, defensive duo Cian Bolger and Ash Eastham talismanic in their quest to thwart the Shakers on a ragged Gigg Lane pitch.Rosler stuck with the same side and 4-3-3 formation that saw them beat Oldham 2-1 on Boxing Day with Burnley loanee Aiden O'Neill and Bournemouth loanee Baily Cargill missing out on a place in the squad for the second game running.It was a scrappy but bright start by Bury who went for the kill early doors to try and knock the wind out of Town's sails.Fleetwood started slowly as Bury, lead by the roaming Danny Mayor, showed flashes of brilliance early on.Rosler's men were on the ropes in the opening 20 minutes but some shoddy and panicky finishing saw Town hold on.Tutte blazed an effort over for the hosts, Mayor's curling effort was deflected wide by Bolger, a teasing Tutte ball into the mix just missed the run of Smith at the back stick and O'Shea fired straight at Neal as the Shakers shook up Town but failed to find the net.They did everything right but they lacked bite, especially in the box with that final ball alluding them and many Bury men, just looking surprised to be in a shooting position.Town have not had much luck in recent weeks but with Bury's firing off kilter it gave them more confidence that it was going to be their day and having absorbed that early pressure and grew into the game with Bolger nodding a Glendon corner over.Then Rosler's men struck, they punished Bury for their complacency in the final third with Glendon racing towards the back line and cutting the ball back, it cannoned off Cole to Hunter and there was never any doubt of the final result as he fired home in the 24th minute.It was a moment of magic by Glendon, who took the game by the scruff of the neck and orchestrated proceedings from the middle of the park.The hosts still kept going as Reilly forced Neal to tip the ball over and Dawson had screams for a penalty waved away though it looked as though he had tripped over his own feet as he waited too long to pull the trigger.Again it was a case of too many touches from the hosts, whereas Town know just what to do in the final third and that renewed confidence allowed them to be patient and wait for the kill rather than rush it.Rosler's side made the perfect start to the second half as Cole popped up with a delightful chip in the 47th minute to double Town's lead.His fellow striker Wes Burns released him as his knock down found Cole who then lofted in his 12th of the season.After the social media drama of this week it was good to see the forward run over and celebrate with his team mates and the 242 travelling Cods.Bury kept going though and carved Town open on a number of occasions though once again they lacked belief and ingenuity where it mattered, in the box as they wasted several fine opportunities.But Bolger and Eastham were determined to keep that clean sheet with some strong blocks from both.Town thought they had a third as Burns danced his way to the back line.He fizzed the ball in to Hunter who poked the ball home but as the Cod Army were in raptures and Hunter wheeled away to celebrate the assistant had raised his flag.The official believed Burns had run the ball out of play before teeing Hunter up, though it looked a harsh call from the press box.Conor McAleny made his first appearance since reoccurring his ankle injury in the 2-0 win over Oxford for the final 18 minutes.Though despite his big return it was a day for Town's other two strikers in Hunter and Cole as they made it two goals in two games. The presence of McAleny on the bench in the last two games has seen Hunter and Cole now net two apiece and the renewed competition is only a good thing for Rosler.Like the first 20 minutes, the final 20 were all about the hosts' too with town looking dangerous on the counter with Hiwula, Hunter and McAleny all looking a threat in the dying stages, though the ball just would not drop.Bury nearly set-up an interesting finish but a fine diving save from Neal thwarted substitute Craig Jones.That save secured Neal's first league clean sheet since the 2-0 win over Peterborough in October 2016 as Town roar into the New Year on a high, to put the ghosts of a miserable two months to bed.
Fleetwood: Neal, Coyle, Eastham, Bolger, Bell, Glendon, Dempsey, Schwabl, Burns (McAleny, 72), Cole (Hiwula, 80), Hunter (Sowerby, 89). Subs not used: Pond, Rodgers, Cairns, Biggins.
Bury: Fasan, Leigh, Tutte, Dawson, Mayor (Jones, 73) Reilly (Bunn, 56), Edwards, Aldred, O'Shea, Cameron, Smith (Maguire, 66). Subs not used: Laurent, Skarz, Danns, Moloney.
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 3158 (242 Town)