Burton Albion 0 Fleetwood Town 1 match report: Antoni Sarcevic takes advantage of goalkeeper Dean Lyness' error to send Fleetwood up to League One
Fleetwood have now been promoted six times in the past 10 years after Sarcevic struck the winner in extra time
Monday 26 May 2014
Antoni Sarcevic delivered on his promise to get Fleetwood promoted for the sixth time in 10 seasons as his free-kick settled the Sky Bet League Two play-off final against Burton at Wembley.
Following the semi-final win over York, the former Manchester City midfielder declared he would elevate the Cod Army into the third tier for the first time in their history and, with 15 minutes to go, he proved he was true to his word.
Sarcevic's 30-yard free-kick was not intended for the net but goalkeeper Dean Lyness lost the flight of the ball and was powerless to prevent the ball arching over him.
It meant Fleetwood, the smallest town to have a Football League club, completed a remarkable journey from North West Counties Division One in the 2004-05 season to League One in a decade to give chairman Andy Pilley the perfect 44th birthday present.
Burton included Billy Kee in their starting line-up, despite the fact the striker had been at his heavily-pregnant wife's side until six in the morning with their child due any moment.
Kee had vowed to included 'Wembley' in the new arrival's name should he score in a winning cause, but the chances of the latter part of that agreement being met looked unlikely early on as Fleetwood flew out of the blocks.
David Ball had a pair of chances inside the opening two minutes with Lyness tipping the first effort over the top after the ex-Manchester City forward swivelled and fired at goal.
From the resulting corner, Ball then nodded towards goal from close range and Lyness unconvincingly shovelled away from his own line.
The expansive Wembley pitch was, as expected, to the Cod Army's liking and Robbie Weir had to get his tackle just right in the penalty area when winger Matty Blair drove inside.
At the other end, Lee Bell's long-range half volley dipped just wide of Chris Maxwell's post, although the former Wrexham stopper happily watched it do so.
Bell was also involved in Burton's best move of the half which culminated in the midfielder sweetly striking straight at Maxwell from just outside the area.
At the start of the second half Ball looked to make an early impact once again, yet he could not scoop Iain Hume's flick-on over Lyness.
Then, just before the hour-mark, Kee got the chance to pen the fitting story when Phil Edwards' long pass landed in his stride. However, after completely miskicking the first chance, the father-to-be then poked over from the second bite of the cherry.
Gary Rowett's side were enjoying a territorial advantage, Alex MacDonald's shot deflecting off Charlie Taylor and landing on the roof while Shane Cansdell-Sherriff flashed a header across the six-yard box.
But just as they were growing into the game, Edwards' rash challenge on Josh Morris gave Fleetwood a 75th-minute free-kick from 30 yards out near the touchline.
Sarcevic swept the ball in with his right foot and Lyness, with Nathan Pond - a veteran of Fleetwood's five previous promotions - in front of him, got caught under the ball and could only help it on its way into the net.
There was the usual madness late on with Pond squandering a three-on-one breakaway situation, but the Cod Army held on to continue their staggering rise up the football pyramid.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United striker 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
England vs Japan Women's World Cup match preview: Lionesses get to grips with the publicity – and opponents
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS