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22 December 2018 Venue Memorial Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Rovers v Fleetwood Town

21 December 2018

Rovers return to the Mem on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome Fleetwood Town in what will be Graham Coughlan.

Whilst last Saturday's trip to Sunderland ended in a 2-1 defeat, the side received plaudits for a much-improved performance following the disappointment against Doncaster Rovers a week beforehand. 

Alex Rodman gave Rovers an early lead, which they sadly could not hang on to but could have snatched a late point, if substitute Stefan Payne's 94th-minute strike had not crashed back off the crossbar.

Despite the positives taken from last weekend's visit to the Stadium of Light, the reality is that Rovers are without a league win in five games and only AFC Wimbledon separate them from the very foot of the table.

Beat Fleetwood on Saturday however and Coughlan's men could take themselves to within a point of safety.

Chris Hargreaves' View: The Rovers coach sat down with the press on Thursday morning and amongst a whole range of topics, discussed the importance of the supporters heading into Saturday's game.

Alex Jakubiak's View: The striker was also on press duty on Thursday and talked about taking his opportunities.

Opposition: Joey Barton's Fleetwood enjoyed a strong start to the season, but tailed off somewhat as the league began to take proper shape, however still find themselves in a respectable 10th position. They've won three of their last five games in all competitions, the latest of which was a 1-0 over former Championship outfit Burton Albion. Town also claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Coventry City, a week before their 2-1 FA Cup win away at non-league Guiseley. They have however been beaten on the road in recent weeks, 2-0 to highfliers Luton Town and 2-1 to strugglers Plymouth Argyle. Fleetwood haven't actually won a league game away from home since the start of October, a stat that would play in Rovers' favour this Saturday.

This Fixture Last Season: The Fisherman visited the Mem on the fourth day of the 2017/18 campaign, as goals from Stuart Sinclair, Billy Bodin and Ellis Harrison helped the Gas to a 3-1 win.

Tickets: Tickets for this fixture will be available on the gate, however supporters could face the possibility of queues so we advise arriving in good time.

Keeping Up With The Game: As usual, we will have updates throughout the game on social media. If you can't make it on Saturday you can listen live on iFollow, whilst supporters based abroad will be able to watch the game. For more information about iFollow - please click HERE.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Rovers 2-1 Fleetwood Town

22 December 2018

Elation and relief at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as James Clarke netted a 94th-minute winner against Fleetwood Town to claim a precious three points.

The Rovers right-back’s intervention came in injury-time in a second half dominated by the sending off of Ched Evans, which led to the Gas huffing and puffing in search of victory.

The sides were level after a first half that saw Ashley Hunter curl Fleetwood in front, and Gavin Reilly nod the home side level.

The second half was breathless, at times frustrating, occasionally comical, but ultimately so, satisfying; Graham Coughlan’s first home game as interim manager will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Fifteen seconds in, Ashley Hunter fluffed a shot, and Jack Bonham gathered gratefully. Thirty-nine seconds in, after Alex Jakubiak could not quite get enough force behind a shot, Ed Upson rifled one in that was blocked by a defender inside the six-yard box.

There was still fewer than 150 seconds on the clock when Alex Rodman skipped past his man and cut back for Jakubiak, but he shot over the bar, leaning back.

A minute later, Hunter shot goalwards from 20 yards, just wide of the post, with Bonham beaten.

So, a quiet start, then.

Holmes-Dennis picked up a loose ball and drove forward, eventually flicking to Jakubiak, to his left. His effort was charged down, but fell to Ollie Clarke, only for the midfielder to pull his effort down and wide.

On 20 minutes, an extraordinary sequence somehow left the scores unchanged, but it is hard to see how. A partially cleared long throw, with Rovers on the attack, was clipped back by Ollie Clarke, towards Holmes-Dennis, who nodded down to Reilly. The Scottish forward took the ball early on his left foot and drove it past Alex Cairns. The ball, however, cannoned off of the post, shot across the six-yard box and into the on-running Rodman, who had not time to react; the ball simply struck him, and rolled wide.

Despite the disbelief at not going ahead, this roused the Mem faithful, but they were riled shortly afterwards, when referee Brett Huxtable gave a free-kick – and a yellow card – for what the majority in the ground seemed to think was a perfectly good tackle by Ollie Clarke.

After plenty of agitation in the wall, Ched Evans smashed a free-kick beyond it, but found the strong hands of Bonham took much to pass.

He could not, though, stop the curling effort of Hunter, who was teed up by Paddy Madden, following the latter’s run into the left-hand channel.

The goal felt harsh on Rovers, especially after going so close to taking the lead, but they showed an admirable resilience to going a goal down, and soon regained parity.

An errant backpass led to a corner kick, which Holmes-Dennis swung in under the bar, and a Fleetwood head nearly deflected the ball in for a comedy own-goal. Instead, it was a corner from the other side, well delivered again by Holmes-Dennis, that was flicked on into a dangerous area by Rodman. Reilly was first to react, stooping to nod past Cairns and bring Rovers level.

Before half-time, Hunter went in to the book for a lunging tackle on Rodman, before Evans followed for an off-the-ball tussle with Tony Craig. The second half was less than a minute old when Jason Holt joined them for kicking the ball away following a free-kick given away by Dean Marney.

Fleetwood has the first chance of the half, with one of their inventive corner-kick set-ups leading to a low ball delivered to Hunter, who curled at goal but got his angles wrong.

Rovers again responded, with Reilly and Holmes-Dennis involved in a swift break down the left that ended with Rodman’s shot deflected wide.

The game-changing moment then came ten minutes into the second half, when Evans appeared to plant a forearm when challenging Tom Lockyer from a ball forward. Both players received treatment from the collision, and everyone waited patiently to see Mr Huxtable’s decision. When he got to his feet, Evans was greeted to the sight of, not a second yellow, but a straight red card.

Rovers, predictably, flooded forward when attacking the North Terrace, and the first incident saw screams for another red card, as Ashley Eastham challenged the clean-through Jakubiak. In fairness, despite the Mem’s howls, Eastham did look to have got a toe to the ball.

Marney was luckier, getting just a yellow after fouling then stepping on James Clarke.

Lockyer had a header from a corner that struck Jakubiak and went wide, while Jakubiak himself, along with Reilly, tried to get shots away but were denied.

Coughlan replaced Reilly with Nichols with just under 20 minutes to go, with Sam Matthews following shortly afterwards, in place of Holmes-Dennis, who had put in another strong shift, but had understandably began to tire.

Unfortunately, the bombardment towards the numerically disadvantaged never materialised. Rovers had all the play, but Fleetwood’s line of yellow jerseys blocked any central incursion, and seemed to win ever header from wide deliveries.

Chris Lines came on for Ollie Clarke to offer a bit of guile, and almost had an amazing effect, volleying back from a non-cleared corner, and striking the angle of post and bar.

Moments later, as injury time had begun, Matthews swung a ball to the far post, and James Clarke, falling, hooked the ball against the near post.

Rovers earned a free-kick near the halfway line, which Ross Wallace tried use all his experience to have delayed. In the end, a pantomime season exchange saw Wallace fall to his backside, Lines get booked, and then dust himself off to take the free-kick.

Lines went along the line, to Nichols, who returned the ball. Lines delivery pinballed a little, before falling to Clarke. This time, he had his eye in, and conjured the ball past Cairns.

Cue delirium in the Mem, and then mildly unsavoury nonsense in front of the benches, as Fleetwood manager Joey Barton was sent off, and benches and players got involved in a daft pull-apart melee.

Let’s not let them overshadow the result though. It was worth four points. Three in the league, and the turning one of the season.

Rovers XI: Jack Bonham; James Clarke, Tom Lockyer (capt), Tony Craig, Michael Kelly; Alex Rodman, Ollie Clarke (Chris Lines 88), Ed Upson, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Sam Matthews 78); Gavin Reilly (Tom Nichols 72), Alex Jakubiak.

Unused Subs: Adam Smith (gk), Stefan Payne, Tom Broadbent, Joe Partington.

Booked: O Clarke 23, Lines 90, J Clarke 90.

Fleetwood XI: Alex Cairns, Lewie Coyle, Nathan Sheron, Ashley Eastham (capt), Ross Wallace; Conor McAleny (Harrison Biggins, 57), Dean Marney, Jason Holt (Craig Morgan 65), Ashley Hunter (Ryan Taylor 85); Ched Evans, Paddy Madden.

Unused Subs: Paul Jones (gk), James Hill, Gerard Garner, Ryan Rydel.

Sent Off: Evans 54, Barton 90.

Booked: Hunter 40, Evans 43, Holt 46, Madden 60, Marney 65, Wallace 79, Coyle 90.

Referee: Brett Huxtable.

Attendance: 7,159 (68 away)

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Ticket News

Ticket Information: Fleetwood Town

17 December 2018

Rovers host Fleetwood Town at the Mem on Saturday afternoon and below is all the information you will need when purchasing a ticket.

You can buy tickets in person at the Mem from our Superstore - which is open 9am-5pm throughout the week.

We also advise getting to the ground early to avoid queueing for your ticket and would like to point out that we cannot accept cash on the turnstiles.

If you do end up buying tickets on the day, we'd like to remind you to do this at the Ticket Office situated outside the ground between the North Terrace and West Stand.

Family stand tickets are now available for purchase online, but we remind fans you must be accompanied by at least one Under-16 supporter for entry to this stand.

Online tickets for this fixture will be available until midnight on Friday, 21st December and we are now able to offer a 'Print at Home' service for tickets purchased online. More information on how to use our Print at Home service can be found HERE.

For more information on the ticket prices for the various sections of the ground - please click HERE.

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