League 2 Play-Off Final
26 May 2014 - 3:00 PM
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.