sport

Sarcevic elated with winner

Antoni Sarcevic revealed his elation after scoring the goal that fired Fleetwood into League One in the play-off final against Burton.

The former Manchester City trainee's fluke free-kick 15 minutes from time fired the Cod Army to their sixth promotion in nine years on Sunday as Burton suffered League Two play-off heartache for the second straight season.

After the semi-final win over York, Sarcevic stood on the Highbury turf among the pitch invaders and personally promised to elevate Graham Alexander's men into the uncharted waters of the football pyramid's third tier.

That declaration came after he had celebrated with his family and it was those closest to him who were primarily in the 22-year-old's thoughts after his Wembley winner too.

"I couldn't look at my mum at the start of the game, she was in tears and it could have got me in tears," Sarcevic admitted.

"But what better way than for your family to see their family scoring at Wembley. It was my first time here and I hope I get many more to bring them down as well."

There was definitely a slice of fortune in Fleetwood's winner, though, as Sarcevic's swerving 30-yard free-kick evaded everybody and caught out marooned Burton goalkeeper Dean Lyness, who could only touch the ball into his own net.

Nevertheless, Sarcevic had premonitions he would be the hero for a team that was playing in North West Counties Division One as recently as the 2004-05 season.

He added: "I was in the hotel last night (Sunday) and I'm not just saying it as a cliche but it was all I was thinking about it.

"They were the main things that I was looking at, along with the thoughts of everything else that's happened in the season, and I'm just happy I've got the boys and the club into League One."

Only central defender Nathan Pond, whose presence in the penalty area may have unsighted Lyness for Sarcevic's winner, can claim to fully comprehend the club's staggering rise up the divisions given he has been a part of all six promotion-winning sides.

However, Sarcevic can appreciate the fact they will be visiting the likes of Preston, Sheffield United and Coventry next season more than most as he was playing in Conference North, the sixth tier, for Chester prior to this campaign.

"Obviously you want to go up automatically but this is a great way to come up," he added.

"I hold my promotion with Chester high myself but nothing will top this, I've just scored the winner at Wembley."

The manner of that goal only heightened the dejection in the Burton camp, especially because it came during their best period of a tight encounter.

"It's a hard thing to take," said Brewers defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff.

"You've worked so hard all season to get the results to get here and to be done by one goal like that...it's very frustrating.

"It can be frustrating and it's going to be a hard one for Deano to take; that's football.

"At the other end I should have scored a header from one of the corners. These are the things you can look back on but you play 90 minutes and they end up getting the one goal which divided us."