The first month of our promotion winning campaign
With the celebrations slowly coming to a halt following the Cod Army’s Play-Off final glory against Burton Albion, work is now underway as Fleetwood Town prepare for life in Sky Bet League 1 next season.
In the first instalment of our ten-part review, fleetwoodtownfc.com looks back at the first month of the season as the Cod Army sent out a strong message right from the very start.
After a successful summer both in player recruitment as well as in the Austrian mountains for pre-season training, Fleetwood Town got their second season in the Football League underway at Highbury Stadium.
A midtable finish in their maiden season represented a great platform to build on. It was the club’s home form that had, at times, let the club down in the second-half of the season and the aim was to re-establish Highbury as a fortress.
Lights. Camera. Action. It only took six minutes for the Cod Army to get their goals tally up and running as Mark Roberts, installed as captain following his move from Stevenage, lead the way by heading his new side in front early on.
Jeff Hughes, another summer signing, added a second after only ten minutes with a sweetly struck half-volley before Rhys Murphy halved the deficit midway through the first half.
Ryan Cresswell added a third late on to give a Town a comfortable 3-1 victory heading into the upcoming Capital One Cup clash with Notts County. Promotion was denounced as the primary target from the beginning and Town had their first chance to pit the wits against a side from League 1 – something that was to be a regular feature over the first half of the campaign.
Following a narrow 3-2 defeat to League 1 side Notts County – in which Gareth Evans and David Ball had shown the Cod Army’s attacking ability – Fleetwood continued to their fine start to the season by maintaining their 100% start to the season at Plymouth Argyle.
Two David Ball strikes in the space of two minutes – the second a delightful left footed effort – made it six from six for Graham Alexander’s side before they returned to Highbury to meet their Play-Off Final opponents for the first of five meetings a week earlier.
Goals had been the theme between Fleetwood and the Brewers and both sides displayed why they would be challenging for promotion come the end of the season in another thrilling battle.
Three first half from Rene Howe, Adam McGurk and Chris Hussey meant the visitors threatened to repeat the heavy score line from February, but though Hughes and Jamille Matt set up a tense finale, Fleetwood had tasted their first home defeat of the season as Gary Rowett’s Burton left the Fylde Coast with a 3-2 victory.
Win, loss, win, loss. The early seeds of inconsistency were planted, but Fleetwood were back to winning ways at Hartlepool United.
Jeff Hughes’s third goal in Fleetwood colours was enough to separate the Cod Army at Victoria Park against a side that was plying their trade in League 1 the season previous. Nine points out of twelve represented good value from Fleetwood’s start to the season.
The month would end where their first season in the Football League had also ended, at Kingsmeadow, the home of AFC Wimbledon.
The sequence continued and Fleetwood slipped to their first away league defeat of the season following late first half goals from Harry Pell and Michael Smith. Fleetwood held a Play-Off berth and set up what was to be a memorable September.