Sky Bet League Two: Fleetwood reach play-off final with York draw
Last Updated: 16/05/14 10:49pm
Chris Maxwell: Helped Fleetwood into final
Fleetwood Town are one win away from a remarkable sixth promotion in 10 years after they booked a spot in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final at the expense of York City.
The Cod Army have risen through the divisions since reforming, for the second time, in 1997 and Graham Alexander will now take his side to Wembley next Monday hoping to make further history by elevating them into the third tier of English football.
They battled to a 0-0 draw against the Minstermen at Highbury on Friday night, knowing that was good enough following their 1-0 win in Yorkshire with Matty Blair ultimately scoring the only goal of the tie against his former club.
Given the precarious nature of the hosts' lead and the visitors' need to overturn the one-goal deficit, it was unsurprising to see the game start with a flurry of chances at either end.
For Fleetwood, Josh Morris rifled a first-time shot over the top following a one-two with David Ball before the Blackburn loanee turned provider, teeing up Iain Hume to steer a shot on the turn into the travelling support.
In-between York midfielder Russell Penn could not quite keep his vicious effort below the bar and Cod Army skipper Mark Roberts was needed to block Adam Reed's near-post try.
Nigel Worthington's men may have scored twice in a game just once in their previous 10 fixtures but they were creating plenty of opportunities, Michael Coulson drawing goalkeeper Chris Maxwell into a decent save while Calvin Andrew nodded off target.
The size of Andrew and the Minstermen's two centre-backs meant they looked a threat from dead-ball situations too and Maxwell breathed a sigh of relief when his defenders were able to clear after he floundered at a back-post set piece.
The former Wrexham stopper quickly made amends, though, punching away inside his own six-yard box with Andrew poised to seemingly nod in from Keith Lowe's head across.
However, it was Alexander's side who would go closest before the interval as Steven Schumacher's free-kick was flicked on by Nathan Pond and hit his centre-back partner Roberts, who knew very little about the chance as it dropped just wide.
York wrestled back the initiative after the break and experienced joy down the left-flank with the impressive Pond needing to head away Will Hayhurst's centre just yards away from his own goal.
Yet still the game ebbed and flowed, and Fleetwood twice came desperately close. Blair, the goalscorer at Bootham Crescent four days ago, wriggled free near the byline and steered a delivery across the six-yard box which nobody in a red shirt gambled on. Then Antoni Sarcevic, largely marginalised in midfield, worked space for a left-foot shot in the area only to see Nick Pope brilliantly turn the ball around a post.
Sarcevic was substituted for defender Ryan Cresswell inside the final 10 minutes, a clear indication Alexander was shutting up shop, although they still had chances to win the game with Ball and Morris wasteful in stoppage time.
They held on anyway and it was fitting that Pond, with the club for each of their previous five promotions and in his testimonial year, was man-of-the-match.
Sky Bet League 2
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