Fleetwood Town suffered a 3-0 defeat at Gillingham on Saturday at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
Two goals from Tom Eaves, as well as first-half effort from Brandon Hanlan proved decisive, as the Cod Army failed to build on last weekend’s derby success against Blackpool.
Joey Barton named an unchanged team following last weekend’s 3-2 victory at Highbury. Paddy Madden was named on the bench after coming on and grabbing a goal on his return from injury against The Seasiders.
Fleetwood started well, and had an opening chance after six minutes. Wes Burns’ cross was met by Ash Hunter, but he was denied inside the area by a terrific block from Max Ehmer.
Gillingham hit the front after 11 minutes. A short back pass from Ash Eastham was intercepted by Hanlan, who rounded the onrushing Alex Cairns to give the hosts the lead.
Eight minutes later it was 2-0. A long punt forward found Eaves, who chested the ball down in the area, before slotting past Cairns from six yards.
Barton opted to bring off James Husband after 32 minutes, replacing him with Madden, who would partner Ched Evans up front.
This move saw Town head into half-time in the ascendancy, with Evans going close just three minutes before the break. He collected a fine pass from Nathan Sheron, cut onto his right foot but luckily for Gillingham, it was deflected wide by Ehmer.
The visitors started the second half the better side and hit the post through Evans, after he met Hunter’s dangerous corner after 51 minutes.
However, on the counter attack, the hosts effectively sealed the game. Gills substitute Connor Ogilvie’s cross was met by Eaves and he couldn’t miss from six yards. A goal totally against the run of play.
Chris Long and Kyle Dempsey were introduced as Fleetwood looked for a comeback in Kent, but it wasn’t to be.
Madden hit the crossbar eight minutes from time, and was really unlucky to not get his goal. His effort from 25 yards had Tomas Holy beaten, but the ball bounced back off the corner of the crossbar.
Next up for the Cod Army; a trip to Alfreton Town in the FA Cup first round next Sunday.
Gillingham: Holy, O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Hanlan, Eaves, Charles-Cook, Fuller, Bingham, Oldaker, Bryne. Subs: Hadler (GK), Lacey, Parrett, List, Nasseri, Mbo, Ogilvie.
Fleetwood: Cairns; Coyle, Morgan, Eastham, Husband; R Wallace, Holt, Sheron, Hunter; Burns, Evans. Subs: P Jones (GK), Dempsey, Bolger, Long, Madden, G Jones, Biggins.
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