Fleetwood 2-0 Hartlepool
Goals from Jon Parkin and Alex Marrow maintained Town’s 100 per cent start to 2014 against ten-man Hartlepool United at Highbury.
The visitors had defender Jordan Richards sent off in the opening stages for a late challenge on Charlie Taylor.
And Parkin curled home in the second half before Marrow, on his latest Highbury debut, completed the victory by sliding past Scott Flinders late on.
Graham Alexander made one change to the side which has beaten both Accrington Stanley and Dagenham & Redbridge since the turn of the year, with Stewart Murdoch replacing Antoni Sarcevic in midfield.
And looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to 2014, Fleetwood were handed a man advantage when Richards’ late tackle on Jeff Hughes near the touchline earned him a straight red card inside three minutes.
Marrow, making his second Highbury debut, replaced the injured Hughes as Town stepped up their attack on the Hartlepool goal.
First, Alan Goodall sent a searching ball across field which David Ball headed back before Parkin blasted over from long range.
Nathan Pond then sent a long ball up to Parkin, and after goalkeeper Flinders punched away over the striker, Murdoch fired in a low attempt but Flinders got down to hold.
The Cod Army continued to move forward, with Taylor’s low cross from the left being turned wide by Ball at full stretch.
Taylor was then the victim of another late challenge from Pools, this time Marlon Harewood going in high but unpunished on the defender.
The visitors were aggressive, whereas Fleetwood looked to find ways to break down their rugged defence.
Murdoch’s deep cross towards Parkin was headed straight at the keeper, before Parkin’s low cross from the left was begging to be attacked by someone inside the box.
Town then went close with two corners before half-time.
First, Steven Schumacher’s pass to Taylor was driven into the box by the defender although, after a deflection off Ball, Flinders was able to parry the ball around his near post.
Then, from the resulting corner, Schumacher’s deep cross was headed on to the roof of the net by Pond at the far post.
In one final chance before the break, Parkin twisted onto his left foot inside the box before floating an effort onto the roof of Flinders’ net, but it remained goalless at the interval.
Half-Time: Fleetwood 0-0 Hartlepool
Town continued the second half on the front foot and nearly took the lead when Schumacher jinked around Flinders, who had dived down low, before a shot towards the Hartlepool net which was headed away by a defender on the line.
Taylor then crossed deep from the left, with Murdoch volleying back across goal at the far post although Parkin, nipping in front of the goalkeeper, could not get the ball under control.
Parkin was unlucky not to score sooner after he collected McLaughlin’s deep cross, turned and fired a strike towards the bottom left corner which Flinders saved at full stretch.
Alexander introduced on-loan Sunderland striker Mandron in search of the winner with less than half an hour to go.
However, it was Parkin who found the decisive breakthrough with a curling effort off his left foot from the right which found Flinders’ far corner.
And the Cod Army grabbed a second less than three minutes later, with Mandron at the heart of the move.
The 19-year-old burst through the centre of the field with pace after robbing Jack Baldwin before feeding Marrow on the left, with the midfielder sliding the ball into Flinders’ far corner to double the lead.
Pools rarely threatened the Fleetwood goal although they were unfortunate not to halve the deficit when Andy Monkhouse’s long range drive crashed off Davies’ crossbar.
At the other end, substitute Gareth Evans sped through the Hartlepool defence but his low strike from the left was tipped around the near post by Flinders.
Pools looked more threatening towards the end, with substitute Jonathan Franks driving wide of Davies’ right post after attacking the Town defence, but Fleetwood kept their clean sheet and maintained the pressure on the teams above them in Sky Bet League 2.
Full-Time: Fleetwood 2-0 Hartlepool
FLEETWOOD: Davies; McLaughlin, Pond, Roberts (c), Taylor; Goodall; Schumacher (Mandron, 63), Murdoch, Hughes (Marrow, 7); Parkin (Evans, 80), Ball.
SUBS: Maxwell, Hogan, Cresswell, Marrow, Evans, Carr, Mandron.
GOALS: Parkin (67), Marrow (69).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Taylor.
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders; Richards, Baldwin (Sweeney, 77), Burgess, Austin (c); Compton (Franks, 77), Walton, Walker, Monkhouse; James (Collins, 10), Harewood.
SUBS: Rafferty, Collins, Franks, Rafferty, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney, Hawkins.
BOOKED: Baldwin, Walton, Burgess.
SENT OFF: Richards (3).