League 2 Play-off Report: Burton Albion v Fleetwood Town

A wet bank holiday Monday meant a trip down south for fans, players and management of Burton Albion and Fleetwood Town with promotion to league 1 the aim.Burton_fleetwood001

After the drama of the 2 games in the previous 2 days, with a late winner for QPR and a Rotherham United winning a penalty shoot-out could this game match them for entertainment? In many ways this evenly contested match it didn’t. Both defences able to keep their net protected.

14,007 were sat in Wembley, with both set of fans giving it their all. The players tried their best, with L2_Play_off_final_programme35 shots in all but only 6 of those were on target. Fleetwood Town’s Chairman and benefactor was at Wembley and celebrating his 44th birthday.

L2_wembley_play_off_finalWith 70 odd minutes gone, thoughts of extra-time were very much on the minds of supporters and maybe even the dreaded penalty shoot-out. With Burton beginning to push, a free-kick outside the area led to the only goal. Sarcevic’s free-kick on 75 minutes deceived the keeper and in to the back of the net it went.

Despite pressure from Albion, they were unable to make that pressure count. With 4 minutes added time wound down the Cod Army were able to celebrate their 6th promotion in 10 years.Burton_fleetwood013

Brewers manager Gary Rowett said after the game:-

I told him (Albion’s ‘keeper Lyness) to get his chin up. Unfortunately, sometimes a mistake dictates a result, we’ve seen it in the play-off games and in the Champions League final.Burton_fleetwood015

I can’t be disappointed with him, he’ll be disappointed enough for himself. Maybe he took his eye off it, but I’m not going to berate my keeper.

I can’t be downbeat after the season we’ve had. I’d have rather lost here at Wembley than at Southend last week.Burton_fleetwood019

A delighted Graham Alexander spoke at Wembley:-

The ambition of the chairman has driven us on and he has always made us believe we can smash through any glass ceiling,” he said.

This just shows what can be achieved through hard work and a lot of people pulling in the same direction. It will be a double celebration for him tonight and it will certainly be a good conversation when we speak later.Burton_fleetwood028

I’d like to think we can compete in League One. We’ve beaten teams from that division in the cup competitions but doing it over 46 games is going to be a tough task.

Team line-ups:-

Burton (4-4-2): Lyness; Edwards (booked), Holness (Diamond 65), Cansdell-Sherriff, Hussey; MacDonald (Ismail 73), Bell (Palmer 78), Weir, McFadzean; McGurk, Kee.
Subs: Hall, Gray, Alexander, Knowles.jubilant_fleetwood_fans_at_wembley
Booked: Edwards.

Fleetwood (4-1-2-1-2): Maxwell; McLaughlin, Roberts, Pond, Taylor; Goodall; Blair (Parkin 74), Morris; Sarcevic; Ball, Hume (Murdoch 86).
Subs: Lucas, Evans, Schumacher, Matt, Jordan.

Referee: M Naylor