Sloppy defending from Fleetwood Town allowed League One side, Oldham Athletic, to take control of this pre-season friendly by half time, scoring three times
By David Mitchell
Sloppy defending from Fleetwood Town allowed League One side, Oldham Athletic, to take control of this pre-season friendly by half time, scoring three times.
The Football League newcomers reacted more positively after the break and claimed the only goal of the half from an Andy Mangan header just after the hour. Times have been good for Town since the two teams met during pre-season twelve months ago and there was an display of further intent at Highbury as manager, Micky Mellon, paraded seven summer signings. Defender, Dean Howell, and striker, David Ball, both started the match and there was a place on the bench for former Preston defender, Youl Mawéné, who put pen to paper just hours before kick-off. Following his appearance at training yesterday, QPR’s Joey Barton, took part in pre-match exercises.Ball was caught offside twice after running on to passes from Howell and Rob Atkinson headed over from a corner but it was the Latics who took the lead. The home defence opened up after 16 minutes. Robbie Simpson fed skipper, Dean Furman, who calmly stroked the ball home past Scott Davies. Following a set-to between Town’s Jamie McGuire and Oldham’s Jean Yves M’Voto the League One side began to stroke the ball around with freedom, playing some fine one-touch football and Town’s defence were struggling to ‘old ‘em. Lee Fowler headed off the line and Paul Dickov’s side confirmed their superiority with further goals from Furman after 26 minutes and Simpson on the half hour. A perfect tackle from Shaun Beeley after 32 minutes denied Furman a chance of a hat trick but Town were paying the penalty for giving the ball away too easily, as they had at times at Stockport in midweek.Three changes after the break included Mawéné’s debut in Town colours. The French defender immediately looked comfortable on the ball and Town enjoyed their best spell of the game. Their efforts were rewarded with their first goal of this pre-season, after 62 minutes. Ball and Howell linked well on the left and, from Howell’s cross, Mangan stooped to head past Alex Cisak. Town continued to press with Beeley finding more opportunity to attack down the right while McGuire and Nicholson were combative in midfield. Davies was very much a spectator in Town’s goal during this period, his first save of the half coming from a firm strike with ten minutes left from an Oldham triallist. Town responded well to the early onslaught but there is still much to work on for the management team as they continue their preparation with a three-day trip to Scotland from Sunday.Town: Davies, Beeley, Pond, Atkinson, Howell, Fowler, McGuire, Brown, Crowther, Ball, ManganSubstitutes: Mawéné (for Pond), Nicholson (Fowler), Kinsella (Crowther), McNulty (Atkinson)Attendance 1231