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Report: Blues 1-1 Fleetwood

11 February 2014

Stuart Lewis’ superb 20-yard volley gave Wanderers the lead against Fleetwood, but the high-flying visitors hit back through Jon Parkin to secure a share of the spoils.

Gareth Ainsworth made one change with Max Kretzschmar replacing Reece Styche, who was named as a substitute. That alteration allowed Paris Cowan-Hall to be utilised further forward alongside Dean Morgan.

Wanderers started brightly and Kretzschmar’s curling effort forced Chris Maxwell into a save within the opening 60 minutes.

However, the visitors responded well and the next 10 minutes were fought out in midfield until Stewart Murdoch headed over at the far post.

Fleetwood were beginning to create more half-chances, and skipper Mark Roberts was denied by a combination of last-ditch defending and brave goalkeeping by Matt Ingram as Chairboys failed to clear a free-kick in the 16th minute.

Both sides began to cancel each other out as the half progressed and Blues were forced into their first change in the 34th minute when Morgan limped off to be replaced by Styche.

Ingram did well to cut out Alex Marrow’s dangerous low cross four minutes before the break after the midfielder had combined well with a team-mate to make room for himself down the right.

Ainsworth’s men had struggled to create many clear-cut chances against a well-organised Town defence, but they were more than matching their opponents in midfield and took the lead as the first half entered injury time.

Wood’s deep free-kick from the left was cleared as far as the edge of the area where skipper Lewis superbly volleyed through a crowded box and past Maxwell. The goal sparked great celebrations from the midfielder, who ran across to celebrate in front of his family with his team-mates close behind.

Graham Alexander made his first substitution at the break with Gareth Evans coming on for Murdoch.

However Wanderers - buoyed by Lewis’ strike - almost added a second three minutes later. The midfielder picked out Kretzschmar with an inch-perfect pass and the 20-year-old’s effort was well turned over by Maxwell.

Evans looked to have wasted a fine chance when he fired over at the far post, but his blushes were spared when the assistant belatedly raised his flag for offside.

Lewis, who had been excellent since his goal, had Blues’ next chance in the 61st minute, but his 25-yard strike curled the wrong side of the post.

Ainsworth’s men were looking a real threat in the second half, and the impressive Kretzschmar was denied brilliantly by Maxwell from a tight angle after Bloomfield had won the ball on halfway and slipped the midfielder through on goal.

Styche had an effort bravely blocked following Kretzschmar’s corner in the 70th minute.

Fleetwood responded to Wanderers’ best spell of the game by bringing on Antoni Sarcevic and Jamille Matt for Steven Schumacher and Mikael Mandron.

Alan Goodall’s speculative 30-yard strike was well held by Ingram in the 74th minute and Nick Arnold then did well to get in ahead of Jon Parkin and Matt to clear following a goalmouth scramble.

Parkin made no mistake in the 76th minute, though, when he hooked in from close-range after Marrow kept the ball alive from a Fleetwood corner.

Matt McClure, who had been stripped ready for action before the goal, was immediately introduced at the expense of Cowan-Hall. Ainsworth’s final change came eight minutes from time with Anthony Stewart replacing Kretzschmar. That meant a reshuffle with Stewart fitting in at right-back and Nick Arnold pushing further forward.

Stewart almost made an instant impact when he met Arnold’s deep corner from the left, but he headed into the ground and the ball looped over Gary Doherty and into Maxwell’s arms.

 in the second half.especially some exciting football produced on Ainsworth's men who harshEvans flashed wastefully wide in injury-time before Matt was off target with the final chance of the game, but a late defeat would have been 

Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Wood, Doherty, Johnson, Scowen, Lewis (c), Bloomfield, Kretzschmar (Stewart 82), Cowan-Hall (McClure 77), Morgan (Styche 34). 

Subs: Horlock, Jeffrey, Kuffour, Craig.

Fleetwood: Maxwell, McLaughlin, Goodall, Pond, Roberts (c), Taylor, Schumacher (Sarcevic 71), Murdoch (Evans 46), Marrow, Parkin, Mandron (Matt 71). 

Subs: Davies, Brown, Cresswell, Hogan.

Attendance: 2,185 (45 Fleetwood)

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