Wembley Stadium, Monday 26th May 2014, 3:00pm kick-off
Form (last eight league games)
Burton Albion – W-L-W-D-L-L-W-D
Fleetwood Town –W-D-W-W-D-L-W-D
– Fleetwood had the worst defensive record of the play-off teams heading into the post season but they didn’t concede in two games against York City. They also went in having scored 10 goals more than anyone else, but managed just one to book their trip to Wembley.
-Burton finished the season with one of the worst goalscoring records with 47, which was
only beaten by the bottom four clubs in League Two. That’s despite having scored five against Fleetwood in their two league meetings.
– In their two meetings in the league this season, both sides managed to get a high-scoring victory away from home. Burton managed a 3-2 win at Highbury in August 2013, whilst Fleetwood walked away from the Pirelli Stadium with a 4-2 win back in January. Burton also beat them 1-0 at home in the FA Cup after a 1-1 draw in Fleetwood.
After two very different semi-finals, it will be Burton Albion taking on Fleetwood Town at Wembley to decide who will be playing League One football next year. It’s been a long season for both, full of ups and downs but there will still be one more to come for both come Bank Holiday Monday as they play in the League Two Play-off Final.
Despite losing their last two games of the season, Burton put in two good performances against Southend to make it to Wembley. A 1-0 victory at home thanks to a well-taken Adam McGurk goal gave them the advantage going into the second leg and even went ahead in the game at Roots Hall.
However, two goals in quick succession saw Southend pull level on aggregate at half-time and a big performance was needed from Gary Rowett’s men to see them into the final. Luckily for the Brewers, that’s what they got and another good finish from Adam McGurk saw them win 3-2 on aggregate, sealing their place at League Two’s showpiece event.
McGurk will be the key for the team again going into the final as they’ve struggled to find their way to the goal all season. His ability to drift into areas and either create a chance or finish one himself is vital if Burton want to win in regulation.
Fleetwood’s journey was a little tenser, after missing out on an automatic promotion place they faced a tough semi-final against in-form side York City. After finally getting a well-earned 1-0 win away from home once the fixture was rearranged, they faced a nervous second leg back at the Highbury Stadium.
Despite numerous chances, the Cod Army couldn’t quite kill off the tie which gave York the incentive to pour men forward, including their goalkeeper, in the final few minutes. Even then, Fleetwood produced a few great chances to finish them off but they held on for a 0-0 draw and see themselves through.
The two clean sheets will have done them the world of good and more performances like Nathan Pond’s heroics in the second leg will be needed to seal Fleetwood’s sixth promotion in ten years. They will look to keep Burton out at one end and rely on the goalscoring prowess of Antoni Sarcevic, David Ball, Iain Hume and big John Parkin to get them the win they need.
If you look at the previous two meetings in the league, this could be an incredibly exciting final. Both sides will be desperate to achieve promotion, Burton after last year’s failure and Fleetwood having missed out on the top three this season but that could lead to a lot of nerves. Expect a slightly cagey first half that might have a piece of brilliance that will set the tone for a more frantic and dramatic finale.
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