Fleetwood Town 1-0 Crawley TownAn Antoni Sarcevic free-kick on the stroke of half-time earned Fleetwood maximum points as the Cod Army beat Crawley Town 1-0 at Highbury Stadium.
The 22-year-old’s goal came with just two minutes remaining in the first half. Former Crawley man Jamie Proctor won the free-kick before Sarcevic hammered the ball past goalkeeper Lewis Price.
Graham Alexander handed Liam McAlinden his first start since rejoining Town in place of Stephen Dobbie in the only change from last week’s team that played Oldham Athletic.
There were also places on the bench for Scott Davies and Stewart Murdoch.
The visitors were the first to trouble with left winger Gwion Edwards cutting infield before Mark Roberts slid in to block his shot on the edge of the area. It was to be their only threatening chance.
Town grew into the game and had a couple of chances through Sarcevic. The best came just short of the half hour mark as Proctor set the former Chester man up from 18 yards but Price was equal to his volleyed effort.
Two minutes before the break, Proctor was pulled back on the edge of the box by Elliott, leaving Sarcevic to drive in the resulting free-kick for his second goal of the season.
Jeff Hughes had a great chance to double Town’s advantage shortly after the restart when he headed over a Sarcevic corner at the back post.
As the clock ticked on and looking to get back into the game, Dean Saunders threw on Dean Morgan and Bobson Bawling in place on midfield duo Jimmy Smith and Elliott.
Despite the changes, it was Fleetwood who looked the more likely to grab a second. Sarcevic nearly doubled his and Town’s tally as first his attempted lob of Price hit the post before the ‘keeper again had to be at his best to stop him.
With 16 minutes remaining, Alexander brought on David Ball for McAlinden in search of a goal to end the contest. Saunders responded by replacing Ryan Dickson with Gavin Tomlin.
Steven Schumacher was brought on to tighten things up in the remaining stages but Proctor almost increased the margin of victory.
Characteristically, Proctor held the ball up well on the halfway line before brushing off Joe Walsh before driving at Price and forcing the ‘keeper into a save low to his right.
Town held on for the win to round off the first month in 2015 with Bristol City next on the agenda on Sunday 1st February.