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Town 2-0 Coventry

24 July 2013

Goals from David Ball and Antoni Sarcevic proved Town’s credentials against higher-division opposition once again at Highbury.

Having hit four past Preston North End on Saturday, the Cod Army largely dominated a Coventry City side that finished 15th in the League One last season.

Ball turned Steven Schumacher’s drive into the near post with ten minutes to go, before Sarcevic was on hand to tap in the second following a header by Ball – initially saved by Joe Murphy in the Coventry goal.

The friendly marked a full-debut for Fleetwood’s latest signing Ryan Cresswell, who was named Man of the Match, having put in a commanding performance in place of Nathan Pond at the heart of Town’s defence as they kept a clean sheet.

Coventry trialist Mathieu Manset came closest to breaking the deadlock in a first-half largely dominated by Town. The striker fired a vicious effort off his left-foot which was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Scott Davies.

Before that, Antoni Sarcevic had a couple of efforts for Fleetwood – his best just skimming past the left post after finding space inside the penalty area on the right.

Steven Schumacher left the crowd gasping with a fizzed free-kick which was marginally wide of Coventry’s far post, while Sarcevic also tested goalkeeper Joe Murphy from long range earlier on.

David Ball blasted an effort from distance agonisingly wide of the stretching Sky Blues goalkeeper as Town searched for the opening goal.

New-signing Cresswell, standing at six feet four inches tall, looked assured throughout a cagey first-half - reading the game well and providing good protection for Davies in goal.

The only time the signing from Southend United looked out of position was when Manset flicked wide Louis Garner’s low cross from the right.

It was goalless at the break, before the Midlands side came out stronger in the second-half. Manset forced Davies to parry a powerful left-foot strike within minutes of the restart, and midfielder Conor Thomas struck and effort not too far over.

But Fleetwood continued their assault on the League One side, and Evans just missed the Sky Blues’ left post with a fierce effort from the right after turning past the defence.

Man of the match Cresswell saw an attempt for his first Fleetwood goal headed wide into the side netting at the far post from the resulting corner, before the goal which looked to have eluded the match finally arrived.

Schumacher’s drive from the right came off Ball lurking outside the area as he turned it into the back of the Sky Blues’ net.

And Sarcevic grabbed the second with a simple tap-in at the end, after an initial header by Ball was well-saved at full stretch by City goalkeeper Murphy.

Substitutes Dean Howell, Junior Brown, Jon Parkin and Ryan Crowther all got onto the pitch for a second-half run-out, in a convincing victory for the Cod Army.

Starting line-up: Davies, Beeley, Cresswell, Hogan, Goodall, Blair, Murdoch, Schumacher, Evans, Sarcevic, Ball

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