Striker praises the Cod Army support after Tuesday's win at Chesterfield
Jon Parkin says Fleetwood ‘put everything into it’ as Town pushed Chesterfield all the way in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy North Final before eventually narrowly being edged out 3-2 on aggregate.
The big striker poked Fleetwood 1-0 in front on the night with a minute left of normal time remaining, but the all-important second goal that would have taken the tie to penalties evaded the Cod Army as Chesterfield held on to secure their place at the Wembley finale on March 30.
Parkin, though, acknowledging it was going to be a tough game, praised his team mates after the match, which finished with Fleetwood playing with four strikers, and said they had given it everything, but insists it is now time to focus all their efforts on getting promoted to League 1.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Parkin said: “We came here and we knew we had to stay in the game, so at half time, we were quite pleased that we were still in the game.
“We needed a goal a little a bit earlier and I had a chance that I should have done better with a couple minutes earlier.
“Come the second half, we just wanted to pressurise them and just have a good go.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but you can’t really be 3-1 down after the first-leg because they are just going to sit someone in front of the back four so it was always going to be tough.
“Anybody who has been at the game will realise that the lads have put everything into it.
“It’s a massive disappointment, but we will take it on the chin and get back in Thursday and start concentrating on Mansfield.
“That’s the bigger picture and I think I’d take getting promoted over a win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.”
Recent signing, Matty Hughes, came on as a second half substitute as Fleetwood begun to throw everything at the game and it was Hughes who provided the cross that led to Parkin’s goal.
Parkin has praised the influence Hughes had on the game when he came on, but conceded that the goal just came too late for Fleetwood.
“He’s done really well when he has came on. He looked lively and he managed to cut the ball back and I had a touch and I managed to just toe punt it and it’s gone in. It just came to late for us.”
Parkin also reserved praise for the 512 travelling fans who came to support Fleetwood’s efforts to overturn the 3-1 first-leg defeat.
“They were singing all the way through the game, we appreciate them coming – especially with the fact that we were 3-1 down as well – so full marks to fans for coming down and supporting us.”