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Nicholson: The lads worked their socks off

27 July 2016

Coach delighted following Town's friendly win at Southport

Barry Nicholson was delighted with another good workout for Fleetwood Town as they beat Southport away in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.

A first-half from Ash Hunter and a Bobby Grant wondergoal from the halfway line helped the Cod Army to a 3-1 victory at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

Many of the senior players in the squad were given 75 minutes of action as they move closer to the start of the Sky Bet League 1 season.

And Nicholson was pleased with the work rate of the side.

"I was absolutely delighted," said Nicholson.

"The older boys knew they were going to get 75 minutes, and I thought they worked their socks off from the start of the game right through to the 75th minute when we made all of the changes."

Hunter opened the scoring inside two minutes when he pounced on goalkeeping indecision to slot into an empty net.

The striker then doubled Fleetwood's lead just before the half-hour  mark as he raced onto a through ball and dinked the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper.

And Nicholson was pleased with the 20-year-old's performance on the night.

"We recognised early doors in the game that we were going to be able to use Ash (Hunter) and Nick (Haughton) with their pace and ability in behind," he said.

"We keep trying to get him (Hunter) to play off the shoulder of defenders.

"We've got a lot of work to do with him but he gives you pace in behind, has a great touch and they were two great finishes."

Bobby Grant then put the game beyond Southport on the hour mark with an effort from the halfway line which caught the hosts' goalkeeper off his goal line.

Nicholson admits it's something the Liverpudlian is capable of.

"It was a brilliant finish," he said.

"Bobby's got that in the locker.

"There's been a couple of games in pre-season where he's been playing on the right hand side and cut inside and switched the play, but this one just sat perfectly for him.

"It was an unbelievable finish and great vision from him as well to see the goalkeeper off his line."

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