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League Two play-off final: Why Fleetwood are going up again

| 26.05.2014

No team in history has risen through the English football pyramid faster than Fleetwood Town, and the Fylde coast club can make another glorious leap upwards by coming through their League Two play-off final against Burton at 4/6.

Promotion to the third tier of English football would cap an incredible 11 years for Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley, whose £10m cash injection has bought five promotions since 2005 and a modern refurb to their Highbury Stadium.

A club that attracted around 80 supporters to the chairman’s first game in charge now averages just under 3,000, and while the population of the Lancashire town would not fill a third of Wembley, the Cod Army will be out in force in London.

After coming through a nervy, goalless semi-final second-leg at home to York thanks to a 1-0 win at Bootham Crescent, Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander will have been far from unhappy to see fellow minnows Burton knock-out Southend.

Alexander’s men finished four points ahead of both in third, but took just a point from Phil Brown’s Shrimpers, who would have expected huge support at Wembley, compared to three against Gary Rowett’s Brewers.

Burton may have an early-season 3-2  victory at Highbury in their favour, but Fleetwood looked much the better team when winning the return fixture by a goal more, and after finishing the season so strongly – losing just twice in the last 14 regular gameweeks – they’re primed for a sixth promotion in nine attempts.

Matty Blair saw little of the ball as York dominated his side in the semi-final’s last knockings, but the former Minstermen winger bagged the opener against his old club on the road, as well as in the last game of the League Two campaign at Chesterfield, so he gets the nod at 14/1 to rediscover that touch with the first at Wembley.

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Alex Fortune