Ball and Hunter goals give Rosler first win in charge
Fleetwood Town bagged a comfortable 2-0 win against Oxford United in the midweek fixture in Football League One at Highbury Stadium.
Goals from David Ball and Ashley Hunter saw the Cod Army breeze past newly-promoted Oxford, earning themselves their first win of the season, and their first win under Uwe Rosler.
Town made two changes to the side that faced Scunthorpe United on Saturday as debutant Chris Long and Nathan Pond came in to replace both Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Victor Nirennold. Oxford United’s defence was moved around for the Saturday fixture as Miles Welch-Hayes and Chey Dunkley came in for Curtis Nelson and Sam Long.
Oxford United produced the first chance of the game as John Lundstram connected with a loose ball 30-yards away from goal but his right-footed attempt flew over the bar, and the top of the Memorial stand.
Town’s opening chance fell to Bobby Grant in the 13th minute as he whipped in a 20-yard but his effort didn’t trouble the keeper as it soured over the Oxford bar.
The home side carried on the pressure just a minute later as new signing Chris Long drove the ball down the left-wing and passed his marker towards the byline. His cross was lobbed into the box but Devante Cole’s header saw the ball go over the bar.
The Cod Army came close again in the 20th minute as David Ball drove in a low cross towards the six-yard box but the Simon Eastwood was a match and the ball was cleared for a throw in.
The Yews struck back in the 25th minute as Liam Sercombe found the open Chris Maguire on the left wing, Maguire paced forward a couple yards before unleashing a powerful left-footed strike straight into Chris Neal’s hands.
Long almost started his Fleetwood career strong as Chris Long managed to pull off a short range chance which was well saved by Eastwood. The ball then fell to Cole who skied his gilt-edged chance for the opener.
Just after the half-hour mark, Town had two quick-fire chances. The first coming from Cole after he was found in the box by a Grant through ball but his shot flew over. The second was an edge of the box lob from Ball’s attempt was off-target as well.
Just before the half, Sercombe found some space inside the Fleetwood box and after he set himself up for a shot, he hit the side-netting.
David ball broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half after a nice layoff from Devante Cole left the ball at the striker’s feet. He moved it onto his left and struck it home, with a touch from the keeper along way.
Oxford tried to get an instant response as Sercombe was found in the Fleetwood box but his header drifted wide of the right-hand post. The midfielder had a second chance a few minutes later but that shot was off-target as well.
Fleetwood Town almost doubled their lead in the 64th minute as Chris Long picked up a pass from Ball, turned his man and released a right-footed shot which was lofted over the bar.
Substitute Ashley Hunter, who was brought on for Devante Cole, doubled Town’s lead in the 70th minute, just two minutes after entering the field.
Just two minutes after coming on, substitute Ashley Hunter doubled Towns’ lead on the night after striking the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal, with velocity. Hunter was found by fellow goal scorer, David Ball.
Despite being two goals down, Oxford United weren’t done for the night as Liam Sercombe produced a brilliant volley from the edge of the box which had to be watched all the way by Neal and afterwards pushed the ball away comfortably.
With two minutes to go, Jimmy Ryan produced their last chance of the game as he curled in a free-kick from 25-yards out and although it made it over the wall, the shot dropped the wrong side of the left post leaving the game 2-0.
The Attendance for the game was 2,614 with 395 Oxford United supporters.
TOWN: Chris Neal, Conor McLaughlin, Amari’i Bell, Eggert Jonsson (Victor Nirennold, 64), Ashley Eastham, Nathan Pond, Jimmy Ryan, David Ball, Bobby Grant, Chris Long (Aaron Amadi-Holloway, 79), Devante Cole (Ash Hunter, 67).
OUFC: Simon Eastwood, Miles Welch-Hayes, Aaron Martin, Chey Dunkley, Joe Skarz, Alex MacDonald (Tyler Roberts, 86), Liam Sercombe, John Lundstrum, Chris Maguire (Joe Rothwell, 87), Kane Hemmings, Ryan Taylor (Wes Thomas, 65).