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Town on top in Scotland

31 July 2012

Fleetwood Town made no mistake in front of goal against Scottish Premier League outfit Kilmarnock in Glasgow.

Kilmarnock 0-4 Fleetwood Town Played at Glasgow University Science Park Tuesday 31st July 2012

Fleetwood Town made no mistake in front of goal against Scottish Premier League outfit Kilmarnock in Glasgow.

The newly promoted League Two side put four past last season’s Scottish League Cup winners in a confident performance. The game saw three Town changes at half-time and five more on the hour, including Joey Barton completing his first 45 minutes of pre-season football. Micky Mellon’s summer signings proved their worth with most recent signing David Ball taking a brace. Barton said his introduction to pre-season was a test: “I feel a bit stiff and the body is aching. This is only my 5th day of pre-season and it’s all part of the game none of us really like. But it’s a necessary evil so, as players, we are ready for the start of the season.” The midfielder added it was good to have a ball back at his feet:  “I really enjoyed my 45 minutes and it’s nice to play with a team who likes to get the ball down and pass. There are some really good players in the Fleetwood side. “It will take me sometime to get up to speed as I’m three or four weeks behind. The squad has been away in Austria and had an intensive pre-season . They are into their third or fourth game and you can see they are sharp and look like a team. It was a pleasure to be out there. Fleetwood can take a lot of positives after enjoying some good passages of play.” Another new face and former PNE man Barry Nicholson was first to test the Kilmarnock goal when he rattled the bar inside 5 minutes. Dean Howell was the next new arrival to make an impact when he coolly won a throw when under pressure.  The back-to-back promotion winner with Crawley Town then accelerated down the wing but his cross was deflected off a defender. Andy Mangan was also unlucky with a block when his 25 yard shot deflected off the Killie back line. Ball then threatened for the first time but his run into the box also found a defensive block. The increased Town tempo marked the quarter hour mark and new defender Conor McLaughlin proved handy with right foot crosses. The hard work in the final third finally paid off when Jon Parkin threaded a neat pass to Ball who was left to fire home. More well-crafted forward movement saw the impressive Damien Johnson’s shot driven down by a defender but penalty claims for hand ball were denied. The half hour mark saw a Nicholson corner sweep in from the right. Steve McNulty and Parkin won the header between them and Youl Malwane was unlucky at the near post. Jamie McGuire showed plenty of his trademark tough and persistent challenging following his serious facial injury at the end of last term. Malwane then had a similar chance from another Nicholson corner but the keeper produced a good save. The SPL side managed a brief rally towards the end of the first period with Scott Davies being called on in one of the few Kilmarnock threats on his goal. The end came to a close with McNulty taking time to calmly clear to a team-mate instead of blasting out of play. Town claimed two successive corners in the opening minutes of the half and with them the promise of more goals. Ball delivered his, and Fleetwood’s second, just before the hour mark. A decisive pass from Mangan allowed the former Peterbourgh striker to fire home. Fleetwood were fully in command and never looked likely to let go of the lead. Alex Titchiner continued to make a nuisance of himself around the opposition box and allowed Jamie Milligan to convert the penalty produced by one of his runs. Trialist Rodrigo Branco sealed victory with a well taken run into the box and strike towards the end of the game thanks to an inch perfect through ball by Barton. Fleetwood now face Tranmere Rovers at home on Saturday. Barton said the visit of the League One side  will be a good opportunity to build momentum going into the season: “I watched the Oldham game last week and everyone connected with the club was disappointed with the performance.  The club are now into winning ways and that becomes a good habit. If  they can go into the Nottingham Forest and Torquay games with more momentum by beating Tranmere they can have flying start.”

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