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Match Reports

Preview: Notts County (H)

21 February 2015

Fleetwood Town 2-1 Notts County

Fleetwood Town came from behind to seal a 2-1 win against Notts County with the goals coming either side of half time from Liam McAlinden and David Ball.

Stephen Crainey was sent off with 21 minutes remaining as the Cod Army had to dig in and show their resilience to claim all three points.

It was the visitors however that went ahead as top goal scorer Garry Thompson drilled a stunning half volley past Chris Maxwell with only ten minutes played.

Fleetwood hit back 15 minutes later through Wolves loanee McAlinden. The 21-year-old kept his cool to convert his fourth FTFC goal of the season from an Antoni Sarcevic cross following good work by Nick Haughton to evade a Liam Noble challenge.

The end to end affair was finally concluded in the 62nd minute as Ball hit his first Town goal since his return from injury after impressive work from the architect Haughton once again.

Ahead of kick-off, Graham Alexander made just one change from last weekend’s defeat at Crewe Alexandra as Gareth Evans made way for Haughton. The match also marked Conor McLaughlin’s 100th appearance for the Cod Army, the second player in a week to reach the milestone after Ball at Crewe.

Despite some bright early link up play from the hosts, Notts County took an early lead. Mark Roberts was penalised for a slide tackle inside the County half before the ball went long eventually finding its way to Garry Thompson who struck from the edge of the box.

Shaun Derry’s side almost double their lead with 20 minutes on the clock after Maxwell misjudged Kaiyne Woolery cross. Maxwell then superbly denied goal scorer Thompson before a McLaughlin block prevented Blair Adams on the line.

Notts County were made to pay for the missed chance five minutes later as Town hit back and McAlinden grabbed his second goal in three games tapping in a Sarcevic cross at the back post.

The visitors though did have a trio of chances to go into the break ahead but failed to convert any. First McLaughlin blocked a Gary Jones effort before Thompson and Mike Edwards both headed wide.

After the restart the tempo of the game dropped before McAlinden was denied his fifth goal of the season as Newton slid in to steal the ball of his toe as he looked certain to socre.

Town did not have to wait too long to take the lead and in doing so came back from behind for the second time in three games to win a match.

Just past the hour mark, Haughton tricked his way through the County defence and to the byline before pulling to back for Ball to tuck home on his 101st Fleetwood Town appearance.

Moments later Josh Morris went close firing just wide of Carroll’s right hand post.

Having taken control of the game Town’s task was made harder when Crainey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

His first yellow came for tripping Woolery as he tried to get clear before he was given his marching orders in the 69th minute for a challenge on Curtis Thompson.

Alexander’s response was to bring on holding midfielder Stewart Murdoch, Jamie Proctor and Nathan Pond to add some steel to the Fleetwood spine.

It was a rearguard display in the closing moments as County went close through Adams, Thompson and Shaun Harrad but Town held firm to complete their first ever League One double, following the 1-0 triumph at Meadow Lane earlier this season.

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