Town 4-1 Torquay United
Fleetwood Town went into their Sky Bet League 2 clash with Torquay United with confidence after the mid-week triumph over Tranmere Rovers. Town made it two wins on the trot after recording a comfortable 4-1 victory against the Gulls. The home side kicked off attacking the Memorial Stand in the first half. It was a very positive start for Town and it wasn't long before they found the breakthrough.
After a series of chances for both sides, Antoni Sarcevic fired the Cod Army ahead after 9 minutes. Goalkeeper Martin Rice was performing heroics in the United net, saving bullet headers from both Nathan Pond and Jeff Hughes. However the resulting corner found Sarcevic who made no mistake with his effort, firmly planting his header into the back of the net.
It was a positive start for Town and they deserved their early lead. The Cod Army looked sharp in the early exchanges, gaining a corner after just 1 minute only to see Gareth Evans blaze his optimistic volley over the cross bar. Ryan Cresswell captained the side with usual skipper Mark Roberts on the substitutes bench. There was an instant level of stability amongst the back four which had become typical of Town this season.
Town came ever so close to breaking the deadlock after just 5 minutes. Junior Brown's delightful through ball picked out Jeff Hughes who glided the ball into the path of Steven Schumacher who saw his first time effort cannon back off the post. It was difficult to determine whether the visitor's goalkeeper made a superb fingertip save or if he was beaten by Schumacher's strike.
Jamille Matt had a penalty claim ignored after 7 minutes as the linesman had already flagged the number 10 for being in an offside position. Torquay United instantly went up the other end and saw Callum Ball's header glance past the post. The visitors were struggling to exploit the Fleetwood Town defence whilst the hosts were looking likely to extend their lead.
10 minutes after the breakthrough was made by Town, the visitors were soaking up the pressure put on by Fleetwood who were ultimately in control of the proceedings. Jamille Matt was becoming a real handful for the Torquay United defence with his aerial ability and fantastic hold up play. Unlike the hosts, the visitors were seemingly lacking the cutting edge they needed to hurt Town. Jordan Chappell had his 20 yard effort deflected behind for a corner which was then wasted by United.
Again, it was Fleetwood Town's Jamille Matt who was causing havoc for the opposition. On the 27 minute mark, Matt saw his stinging shot parried away by Martin Rice who was single-handedly keeping Torquay United in the game. Town once again close to doubling their lead through an Aaron Downes header. United were almost giving the game to Fleetwood as Gulls' defender Downes almost headed the ball into his own net.
Town were fully in control as we reached the half hour mark with Torquay committing silly fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch. Steven Schumacher drilled a free kick low into the corner only to see goalkeeper Rice make another fantastic save. Whilst the home side were linking passes together at ease, Torquay found themselves struggling to construct any real threat going forward which could indicate even a slight possibility of seeing them get back into the game.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Antoni Sarcevic bagged a stunning 2nd goal. With just under 10 minutes of the half left to play, midfielder Jeff Hughes played a clever little flick into the path of Sarcevic who drilled the ball home with his left foot. A superb strike which left the impressive and it has to be said unfortunate Martin Rice with absolutely no chance.
Torquay United boss Alan Knill looked perplexed to say the least and the half time whistle could not come any sooner for him and his side. Knill's team had a few set pieces towards the end of the half in an attempt to ignite a 2nd half comeback but to no avail. Town went into the break holding a well-earned 2-0 lead.
Just moments after the restart, stand in skipper Cresswell came close to extending Town's lead. It was another great fingertip save by goalkeeper Rice, diverting the shot over the crossbar. The visitors did however look a lot sharper after the interval, having numerous set pieces in dangerous areas. Unfortunately for the Gulls their efforts didn't pose any significant threat to Scott Davies' goal.
Town winger Junior Brown saw his effort fly past the post after a mistake at the back by the visitors. The ball bobbled to Jamille Matt who played in Brown who fired his right foot strike past the post. United were pushing for a way back into the game and were subsequently leaving gaping holes at the back. Jeff Hughes' simple ball into the path of Steven Schumacher saw the midfielder run into the empty space only to see his pass miscontrolled by striker Jamille Matt.
Full-back Dean Howell was contributing greatly in both attacking and defensive positions whilst Nathan Pond was making his presence felt at the heart of the Fleetwood Town back line which he has done so well for many years.
Just after the half hour mark, the Cod Army extended their lead. A corner was whipped in by Gareth Evans was poorly dealt with by the Torquay United defence and in particular, goalkeeper Martin Rice. In what was a great game for the Torquay number 13, Rice let himself down by miscuing his punch straight into the path of Jamille Matt who bundled the ball home. For his efforts in the game, it was the least Matt deserved who grabbed his 3rd goal in 2 games.
Elliot Benyon and Daniel Sullivan were the players coming on for the Gulls hoping to make an impact with around 25 minutes left to play. The substitutions had a relatively decent impact as United started to look a lot more comfortable in possession of the ball. Town sat back and allowed the visitors to play in front of them with their only chances to grab, what would now be a consolation goal, coming from set pieces. The Gulls simply were not clinical enough to get anything from the game. Scott Davies had very little to do for the entirety of the match.
Meanwhile, Jamille Matt continued to hold his own as the lone striker and looked extremely cool and confident with the ball at his feet. Matt and man of the match Antoni Sarcevic were replaced with 10 minutes to go and both were greeted with rapturous applause from the Highbury faithful.
The game was beginning to die down as we entered the final 5 minutes with Town comfortably dealing with the tame attack of Torquay United. Then out of the blue, there was time for a consolation to be scored by the visitors. The goal coming from substitute Elliot Benyon.
However it was Fleetwood who had the final say as late substitute Matty Blair fired in Town's 4th goal of the game. It was his first real contribution to the game and it was a decisive one as he converted a cross from the right hand side. A frantic couple of minutes which saw 2 goals scored, 1 for either side.
Overall, it was a relatively straight forward game for the Cod Army and another great victory as Town continue their promotion push.
Substitutions- Matt (Ball), Sarcevic (Murdoch), Evans (Blair).