League Two
Burton0Fleetwood1

Burton Albion 0-1 Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood celebrate promotion

Antoni Sarcevic's second-half goal earned Fleetwood promotion to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history at the expense of Burton Albion.

Sarcevic's direct 30-yard free-kick flew straight past wrong-footed Brewers keeper Dean Lyness when under pressure from Town defender Nathan Pond.

Billy Kee had gone close to giving Burton the lead earlier in the second half of the League Two play-off final at Wembley, but he fired over when through on goal.

It means Fleetwood have now won promotion in six of the last 10 seasons.

Pond's involvement in the only goal of the game highlighted the dramatic rise of a club who were playing in the North West Counties League just nine years ago, and had last appeared at Wembley as FA Vase finalists in 1985.

The 29-year-old defender has ended his testimonial year with his own personal double hat-trick of promotions, having made his debut for the Lancashire club in front of just 81 fans more than a decade ago.

But it was a second year of heartbreak for Burton fans, who saw their side fall at the semi-final stage against Bradford last season.

Fleetwood celebrate Antoni Sarcevic's second-half goal
Fleetwood celebrate Antoni Sarcevic's second-half goal which won them promotion to League One

Fleetwood, who had finished fourth in only their second season in League Two, had looked the most likely to score early on, with Lyness twice denying David Ball before Pond headed wide from one of the Cod Army's many corners.

Lee Bell went close with a 30-yard strike at the other end and, with Burton beginning to create chances, Adam McGurk fired over with an ambitious attempt before Kee saw a diving header fly just wide of Chris Maxwell's goal.

Maxwell then did well to block another powerful shot from Bell before Burton again found themselves in danger at the other end, with Ball shooting off-target following good work from Conor McLaughlin.

After a stale opening to the second half, Burton began to press more and, after long-range attempts from Bell and Chris Hussey, Kee should have done better when he fired over with just the keeper to beat.

Sarcevic then fired wide at the other end before the Brewers came forward again, this time Robbie Weir shooting over from distance.

As Gary Rowett's side continued to push, Alex MacDonald's shot deflected onto the top of the net and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff headed off target from the resulting corner.

Although Burton controlled much of the second half, it was Sarcevic who broke the deadlock when a distracted Lyness raced off his line and was unable to reach the former Manchester City youngster's long-range free-kick.

Despite even more pressure from the Brewers late on, Graham Alexander's Fleetwood held on to celebrate another significant milestone in their rise from step five of the non-league pyramid to within only two divisions of English football's top flight.

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander:

"I'm just pleased for my players. They have worked so hard. I'm chuffed to bits. The whole club deserves this."

Long-serving Fleetwood defender Nathan Pond:

"I can't believe it, from the North West Counties League to Wembley, I'm still pinching myself. I did not think any of this would happened when I joined in 2003. Conference maybe but not League One."

Burton manager Gary Rowett:

"I wanted the players to watch Fleetwood pick up the trophy so they felt the hurt. We now have two choices: sit and sulk or use it positively.

"Wembley is a cruel place to lose but I'd rather lose here than in the semi-finals. Goalkeeper Dean Lyness will be hurting - his handling has been terrific this season. We knew a mistake could win or lose it. One or two players just felt the occasion too much."

Line-ups

Burton

  • 16Lyness
  • 2EdwardsBooked at 75mins
  • 15McFadzean
  • 8Weir
  • 21HolnessSubstituted forDiamondat 65'minutes
  • 25Cansdell-Sherriff
  • 11MacDonaldSubstituted forIsmailat 73'minutes
  • 7BellSubstituted forPalmerat 78'minutes
  • 29Kee
  • 20McGurk
  • 3Hussey

Substitutes

  • 5Diamond
  • 9Alexander
  • 18Knowles
  • 19Ismail
  • 23Palmer
  • 26Gray
  • 30Hall

Fleetwood

  • 28Maxwell
  • 15McLaughlin
  • 20Taylor
  • 13Goodall
  • 6Pond
  • 5Roberts
  • 17BlairSubstituted forParkinat 74'minutes
  • 18Sarcevic
  • 36HumeSubstituted forMurdochat 86'minutes
  • 23Ball
  • 24Morris

Substitutes

  • 4Murdoch
  • 7Evans
  • 8Schumacher
  • 9Parkin
  • 10Matt
  • 25Jordan
  • 33Lucas
Referee:
Michael Naylor
Attendance:
14,007

Match Stats

Home TeamBurtonAway TeamFleetwood
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home19
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away8
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Burton Albion 0, Fleetwood Town 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Burton Albion 0, Fleetwood Town 1.

Foul by Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Burton Albion).

Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Antoni Sarcevic.

Callum McFadzean (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jon Parkin (Fleetwood Town).

Attempt missed. Callum McFadzean (Burton Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Attempt blocked. Billy Kee (Burton Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Hussey.

Attempt missed. Zander Diamond (Burton Albion) header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Hussey with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Hand ball by David Ball (Fleetwood Town).

Substitution

Substitution, Fleetwood Town. Stewart Murdoch replaces Iain Hume.

Attempt missed. Matthew Palmer (Burton Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Offside, Fleetwood Town. Jon Parkin tries a through ball, but Iain Hume is caught offside.

Alan Goodall (Fleetwood Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Billy Kee (Burton Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Burton Albion. Matthew Palmer replaces Lee Bell.

Goal!

Goal! Burton Albion 0, Fleetwood Town 1. Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood Town) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Booking

Philip Edwards (Burton Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Josh Morris (Fleetwood Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Philip Edwards (Burton Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Fleetwood Town. Jon Parkin replaces Matty Blair.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Substitution

Substitution, Burton Albion. Zeli Ismail replaces Alexander MacDonald.

Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Bell (Burton Albion).

Attempt missed. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Burton Albion) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Hussey with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Attempt blocked. Alexander MacDonald (Burton Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Bell with a headed pass.

Hand ball by Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood Town).

Attempt missed. Zander Diamond (Burton Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Philip Edwards following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Burton Albion. Zander Diamond replaces Marcus Holness.

Foul by Josh Morris (Fleetwood Town).

Philip Edwards (Burton Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Fleetwood Town. Conor McLaughlin tries a through ball, but David Ball is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Robbie Weir (Burton Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Conor McLaughlin.

Foul by Antoni Sarcevic (Fleetwood Town).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chesterfield46231583184
2Scunthorpe46202152481
3Rochdale46249132181
4Fleetwood462210141476
5Southend461915121772
6Burton46191512572
7York461817111171
8Oxford Utd46161416362
9Dag & Red46151516-660
10Plymouth46161218-760
11Mansfield46151516-960
12Bury46132013859
13Portsmouth46141715-1059
14Newport46141616-358
15Accrington46141517-257
16Exeter46141319-355
17Cheltenham46131617-1055
18Morecambe46131518-1254
19Hartlepool46141121-653
20Wimbledon46141418-853
21Northampton46131419-1553
22Wycombe46121420-850
23Bristol Rovers46121420-1150
24Torquay4612925-2445
View full League Two table

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