Paddy Lane named young player of season ahead of crunch clash for Fleetwood

League One's Young Player of the Year Paddy Lane will have to watch from the sidelines as his Fleetwood Town teammates seek to secure their League One status tonight.

By Andy Moore
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 8:20 am

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Town have a far better goal difference than their fellow relegation battlers, meaning victory at home to Sheffield Wednesday (7.45pm) would effectively seal their survival and spare them an anxious final day at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

But they will be without suspended forward Lane, who crowned a brilliant breakthrough campaign by winning the Sky Bet award.

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League One young player of the season Paddy Lane misses Fleetwood's final three games

The 21-year-old was a part-time non-league player until his move to Highbury last summer but has established himself as a key man in Stephen Crainey's side.

His 38 senior appearances have brought five goals and eight assists, and Lane's form earned him a first full cap for Northern Ireland against Hungary last month.

He beat off competition from Portsmouth goalkeeper Gavin Bazuna and Sunderland midfielder Dan Neil to win the award.

Lane's season has ended early following a red card at Gillingham on Easter Monday, when he and Charlie Kelman were both sent off following a full-blooded 50-50 challenge. Lane was also stretchered off but was not seriously injured and did not require hospital treatment.

While the other clubs in the relegation battle have only a final game of the season at lunchtime on Saturday to try to save themselves, Fleetwood have a chance to pull clear via tonight’s game in hand.

Their home clash with the Owls was postponed over two months ago due to storm damage to the stadium roof.

Having climbed out of the bottom four on Saturday courtesy of their late equaliser against AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham’s defeat at Portsmouth, Town have the chance to complete their escape in tonight’s final home fixture.

But Fleetwood have won only one of their last 19 games and if the three points prove elusive again their fight would go to the wire on Saturday, when they would vie with Morecambe and the Gills to avoid the final relegation place.

A point for Fleetwood tonight would confirm the relegation of Wimbledon and Doncaster Rovers.

The game is also of great importance to Sheffield Wednesday as a point would lift them back into the play-off zone and victory could see them climb as high as fourth.