Fleetwood Town 4-0 Burton AlbionSteven Pressley recorded his first win as Fleetwood Town manager in stunning fashion as the Cod Army beat league leaders Burton Albion 4-0 at Highbury Stadium in his second game in charge.
A first half tap in from Jamie Proctor was followed up by a spectacular double by Bobby Grant in the second half. Sub Ashley Hunter rounded matters off late on against his former club as Town scored four great goals and recorded a clean sheet in the process.
Boss Pressley drafted Northern Irish international Conor McLaughlin back into the starting line-up after his recent success with his national team.
Eggert Jonsson came in for the injured Victor Nirennold and Bobby Grant replaced Ash Hunter.
Burton, second in League One ahead of kick-off, had one of the leading marksmen in the division up front, former Preston North End and Wycombe striker Stuart Beavon.
And it was the man just mentioned that had the game’s first chance with eight minutes played. Albion’s number nine turned neatly away from Richard Wood to fire a strike from the left hand side into the side netting.
Just two minutes later, Fleetwood responded with a chance of their own as Jimmy Ryan, captain for the game, had a pop shot from 25-yards comfortably into the hands of Jon McLaughlin.
On the quarter hour mark, after a defensive mix up at the back by Burton, Town won a corner, their first of the afternoon.
Nick Haughton delivered a low corner to the front post which was diverted towards goal by Bobby Grant but the goalkeeper smartly got down to make the save.
Tempers soon started to flair at Highbury Stadium with tackles flying in from all angles as Conor McLaughlin and Antoni Sarcevic, two players that represented Fleetwood against Burton Albion at Wembley, were booked.
Burton were on the front foot and looking the most likely for an opener as Town had a lot of work to do at the back.
Matty Palmer was within a whisker of handing the Brewers the lead with five minutes to play of the first half as he rattled Chris Maxwell’s bar with a thunderous effort from the edge of the penalty box.
However, on the counter attack, Fleetwood Town took the lead one minute later thanks to Proctor. Full back McLaughlin drove forward to knock the ball into the path of Grant on the right.
Taking a quick glance up, Grant fired a low cross to the back post for Proctor to side foot home to the jubilation of three sides of Highbury Stadium.
Burton came racing out of the traps at the start of the second half as Beavon and Calum Butcher both had look ins on goal as Albion pressed for an equaliser.
But it should had have been Fleetwood that hit the second goal of the game as defender Dionatan Teixeira headed into the ground and just wide after being left unmarked at the back post from a Nick Haughton free-kick.
Town started to gradually crank up the pressure and it paid off just before the hour mark as Pressley’s men doubled their lead.
Proctor, involved again, crossed to an unmarked Grant inside the penalty area. Taking a step away from an approaching Burton defender, the former Blackpool man sweetly tucked the ball into the far corner.
With 20 minutes to go, the gaffer made his first change as Haughton was withdrawn for the pacey Ashley Hunter, a former Burton Albion youth team player.
Grant was on absolute flames as Town pushed Burton aside to add a third as the Cod Army’s number 14 scored a wonder goal, curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty box.
Three could have been four minutes later as Hunter went for the spectacular and had an overhead kick sail just wide.
The second change for Fleetwood happened with 12 minutes remaining as Grant left the field to a standing ovation, Jamille Matt coming on in his place.
What an impact Jamma had as he sped down the right flank immediately to play the ball into the box for the awaiting Hunter in the penalty box as Town returned to winning ways in perfect fashion.
Fleetwood Town comfortably saw out the remainder of the game against the team they beat at Wembley in 2014 and now head to Sheffield United on Tuesday evening. For ticket information please call 01253 775080, ticket office back open at 9am on Monday.