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GA on Chesterfield draw

13 October 2013

Graham Alexander paid tribute to his players for the way they fought back to snatch a point in their top of the table clash with Chesterfield.

After a nervy first half in which both teams failed to get a foot hold in the game, Liam Cooper climbed highest from a corner to give the Spireites the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

The goal sparked a fight back from Fleetwood, and after an intense spell of pressure following the goal, substitute Jon Parkin levelled on 89 minutes to snatch a valuable point – Town’s first draw of the season – to stay only a point behind leaders Chesterfield.

Alexander said, though, that although Fleetwood did not manage to win the game, he insisted it was important they didn’t lose the clash and praised the response of his players after falling behind to Cooper’s goal.

He told Cod Army Player: “We tried to win, it was important that we kept it tight for the first hour of the game at least because Chesterfield are a very good team and we didn’t want to be put on the back foot too much. 

“It was a game that sprung to life early in the second half and we conceded a goal from a set piece, but I thought the response from the team was fantastic and I thought our players really went for it. 

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win it in the end because I thought we created some very good opportunities. It was a tough game for both teams.

“Both teams gave it their all, but we’re disappointed that we didn’t get the goal a little bit earlier in the second half to give us an opportunity to get another.

“Obviously it was the top two teams at the moment in the league playing each other and you don’t want to give up any ground. 

“We still had our will to win the game without a shadow of a doubt and it was obviously two teams who didn’t want to give up any ground on each other and I cant speak highly enough of my players.

“The ones that came off and the ones that came on, they put effort in the game and we definitely deserved to score. 

“On another day, it could have been more than one, but it is our first draw of the season and we like to win games. It is a good point and we go on to next week now.

“It was important after going 1-0 down that we didn’t lose. We didn’t want to lose and I am sure Chesterfield didn’t want to lose. 

“You don’t want to lose any game at all, but when you put so much into a game to come off with no points, that would have been devastating. 

“We deserve better and in the past two home games we have deserved better and we could have got better today. 

“I think a point from the two home games is probably less than what we deserve to be fair, but the will to win from the lads for the last 40 minutes for the game was fantastic and that will stand us in good stead when we play many more tough games this season.”

Alexander brought on strikers David Ball and Jon Parkin to partner Jamille Matt and Matty Blair also came on as Fleetwood went in search of the equaliser and the manager’s decision to throw on all of his forwards paid off after Parkin scored his third goal in a week to secure the point.

Alexander believes the changes gave Town an extra edge going forward, but he also reserved praise for the rest of the squad after saying ‘they put absolutely everything into the game.’

“It (the substitutions) gave us an impetus within the team, that’s not to say that the lads that came off didn’t do a job. 

“I think Murdo (Stewart Murdoch) did a great defensive job for us, but obviously when you do go 1-0 down, it was important that we didn’t concede another after that so we kept it sure for a few minutes and then we decided to go a bit more attacking. 

“Parky and Bally came on and was a real handful and I think the three of them in the formation really threatened, but it was disappointing we didn’t equalise earlier.
“These things happen in football, but it was important the players showed a response and I thought they were fantastic I really did, I think the fans can go home content with what they have seen from the players. They put absolutely everything into the game.”

Fleetwood did have the chance to score an equaliser a lot sooner in the game after referee Robert Lewis pointed to the penalty spot following a foul on Antoni Sarcevic in the box.

Jeff Hughes put the ball down for Fleetwood’s first penalty of the season but the midfielder put his kick over the bar and Alexander sympathised with Hughes after the miss, but insists he has got the courage to continue to be Town’s penalty taker in the future.

“He said sorry to me when he came in, but he hasn’t got anything to be sorry about. I know myself from being there, you miss penalties, and it’s a part of football. 

“He’s got the courage to go up there again, he’s got great technique, and it’s just one of those things that happen. 

“I thought that could be a turning point for a team to give up and not come back, but we didn’t do that at all, and we carried on attacking, getting bodies forward and gave every ounce on that pitch. 

“On another day we could have got another one, but it was a great finish from Parky when he came on and it was thoroughly deserved.

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