Madden stroked the ball home after a decent run from Joe Lolley down the Iron right - Amari’i Bell exposed at a vital moment, Fleetwood once again showing their soft underbelly.
Up to that point it had been a drab affair, both sides lacking confidence, Town drained of belief.
Declan McManus came closest to scoring for the visitors, forcing Luke Daniel to tip over the bar minutes after the break.
Sub Jamille Matt might have grabbed a late leveller, heading over from seven yards from Bell’s cross.
It was a flat performance which showed how desperate Fleetwood are for an injection if passion and belief.
The coming weeks will have a big say on how their survival struggle pans out.
But caretaker manager Chris Lucketti was at least encouraged by a more stable defensive display.
He said: “It’s been a very difficult week and to be honest I thought we could have got a result.
“The lads have done everything they could, I’ve seen some good performances, they’ve had one shot on target and scored from it.
“To come away from home and limit them to one shot is great by anybody’s standards.
“I was more than happy with how the back lads played.”
Lucketti refused to comment on whether he would be interested in the manager’s role full time.
He said: “The club have asked me to take the team on a game by game basis until things are sorted and that’s as far as I know.
“The chairman asked me will I take it and I will until they sort the situation out.
“I’ll take it until somebody is appointed.
“I don’t even want to comment on taking it on a longer basis.”
Town have given nothing away so far about a successor to Alexander.
Former Blackpool number two Steve Thompson and former Rotherham boss Steve Evans remain the bookmakers’ favourites for the role.
Odds have lengthened on Thompson’s former boss Ian Holloway taking the role while Accrington manager John Coleman is a new name to appear in the runners and riders list.
Also attracting interest is Neil Warnock following reports he was at Glanford Park on Saturday - the former Sheffield United and Crystal Palace boss not sighted by anybody inside the ground.