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Match Reports

Match preview: Crewe Alexandra

9 August 2014

Report: Fleetwood 2-1 Crewe

Fleetwood Town began life in England’s third tier with a win thanks to goals from strikers David Ball and Jamie Proctor.

Ball was the man to score Town’s first ever goal in League One on 47 minutes when he spun his defender and fired past Scott Shearer.

New signing Proctor doubled the lead for the Cod Army shortly after as he struck a thumping 25 yarder into the top corner.

On the hour mark, Chris Maxwell denied Matt Tootle from the penalty spot after Oliver Turton was adjudged to have been fouled.

Brad Inman pulled a consolation goal back for Steve Davis’ side on 93 minutes, after Callum Saunders was brought down in the area.

Manager Graham Alexander included new loan signing Stephen Dobbie in his starting eleven for the visit of the Alex, while Newcastle United’s Adam Campbell earned a place on the bench.

In front of a large Highbury crowd, it was a cagey opening first few minutes from both sides which meant chances were at a premium; Antoni Sarcevic going closest for Town as he headed Steven Schumacher’s corner just over.

Alex captain Matt Tootle capitalized on a slip by Conor McLaughlin and very nearly put his side ahead on 16 minutes, but his audacious effort from the edge of the box was gratefully held by Chris Maxwell.

In reply, David Ball was guilty of squandering a golden opportunity for the Cod Army when he fired wide from Sarcevic’s delightful low cross.

Sarcevic was then put through on goal himself, but a dinked effort over Scott Shearer went just wide of the far post as Fleetwood gradually game into the game.

Anthony Grant tested Maxwell in the Town goal with a long range strike, before Oliver Turton rattled the crossbar shortly after.

On 36 minutes, Crewe keeper Scott Shearer saved expertly from debutant Stephen Dobbie, and was on hand again for the follow-up to keep out Gareth Evans.

The Cod Army were ahead two minutes into the second period, as David  Ball spun his defender and fired past Shearer from close range for Fleetwood’s first ever goal in England’s third tier.

It was two for Town on 55 minutes when Jamie Proctor, introduced at the break at the expense of Stephen Dobbie, hit a wonderful strike from 25 yards which flew into the top corner.

The visitors were offered a lifeline on the hour mark, though, when Turton was felled in the area and referee Gary Sutton pointed to the spot.

Captain Matt Tootle was tasked with dispatching from twelve yards, however Chris Maxwell denied the 23 year old superbly.

In search of a goal to get them back in the game, Alexandra manager Steve Davis brought on Callum Saunders and Marcus Haber, while Matty Blair was introduced for Town by Graham Alexander.

Sarcevic and Ball both went close for Fleetwood in the closing moments, but shot wide from good positons.

On 93 minutes, Crewe were awarded their second penalty of the afternoon as Callum Saunders was brought down in the box.

Brad Inman stepped up and made no mistake, however it was too little too late for the visitors, and the Cod Army held on for all three points.

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