Town overcome Gloucester City
Graham Alexander was pleased to see his Fleetwood Town side progress to the 2nd round of the FA Cup, but was quick to praise opponents Gloucester City, who put up a determined fight throughout.
David Ball put the Cod Army on their way after ten minutes as his effort from outside the area beat keeper Mike Green, before Jon Parkin sealed the victory late on by tapping home from inside the box.
In what could have potentially been seen as somewhat of a banana skin beforehand, Alexander was content with both scoreline and performance: “We came here to a win a game and we’ve done that. We could have won by more on another day as we created some really good opportunities, but they could have scored as well, so credit to Gloucester as they made a game of it and were competitive.”
Despite being only three places off the bottom of their respective league, the former Scottish captain was impressed by what he saw from a dogged Gloucester side: “From watching them you wouldn’t have thought they were three off the bottom of the Conference North. I think all teams when they play an opponent from a higher level get an adrenaline rush as you want to show what you can do, and I thought they did that to be fair. I’m happy that we came here and won the game that we deserved to win, as we were the better team”.
Town rued a number of missed chances during the first half, with last week’s hatrick hero Steven Schumacher guilty of missing a penalty in the 23rd minute: “We created some really good chances and should have scored more, but the lads are getting in great positions, creating great opportunities and that’s the main thing as I know with the quality we’ve got that we’ll score goals against anyone we face”.
The Tigers, who now play their games at Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road set up in an attacking manner, and Alexander believes David Mehew can be proud of his lads: “I don’t think they approached this game in any way as a defensive side. They thought let’s give it a go and make a game of it. His players should be proud as they’ve put on a good show for him and their supporters”.
Asked how important a cup run is for his side, the 42 year old replied: “It’s important that we go into every game to try and win it, and that’s what we’re going to do. We don’t look at a game and think that it doesn’t really matter if we win it or not and we’ll never approach any match like that, so that’s why every game we go into as staff and players we look to win, and that’s what we’ll be doing next round”.
The management team were forced to make two changes to the side that saw off Newport County at Highbury in the league last weekend, with Conor McLaughlin and captain Mark Roberts coming into the side: “We knew that Hogs (Liam Hogan) would be suspended for this one and Cressy (Ryan Cresswell) went down with illness on Thursday, but we knew that Conor and Robbo are good players and came into the side and things just carried on as before which is good to see”.
Having won their last three games in all competitions, Town now turn their attentions to another cup game on Wednesday when they play host to League 1 side Carlisle United, with the game live in front of the Sky Sports cameras: “It’s exciting as it’s another cup game and a break from the league structure. It’s at home, it’ll be a good crowd and it’s live on TV, so we’re all really looking forward to it. Carlisle are a decent team and it’ll be a tough game, but we’ll go into it looking to win the game”.
Alexander was also full of praise for the travelling Cod Army who had made the long trip south to Gloucestershire yesterday afternoon: “They were fantastic and I’m just hoping the draw is a little bit kinder to us in the next round. If we’re not at home then hopefully it’ll be just around the corner and we get a good draw, as they’re so loyal and follow us all over the place and it’s greatly appreciated”.