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Fleetwood Town 2-1 Gillingham

1 March 2016

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Fleetwood Town 2-1 Gillingham

A blistering nine minute start from Fleetwood Town with early goals from Wes Burns and Shola Ameobi sealed a 2-1 win over promotion hopefuls Gillingham, to seal the Cod Army's second win inside four days.

The striking pair stunned the Gills with two strikes in the opening nine minutes of the match, and despite Luke Norris pulling a goal back for the visitors just before the half time interval, Town held on to a valuable three points.

Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley made one change from the victory over Coventry City last weekend.

Striker Ameobi stepped in to the front three alongside the goal scorers at the Ricoh Arena, Burns and David Ball, Ash Hunter the man to miss out.

Town, in positive spirits after their win in the Midlands, made a dream start against the Kent side as Burns made it two goals in as many games.

The striker initially had a free-kick expertly saved by goalkeeper Stuart Nelson in the first two minutes. From the following corner, the Bristol City loan man struck the ball sweetly, causing havoc in the Gillingham penalty area as the ball deflected off a blue shirt and beyond the goalkeeper.

Town were really on fire as they put Gillingham to the sword early on as Ameobi scored his first goal for the Club, and it couldn’t have come any easier to the 34-year-old number nine.

Burns, the architect, was played down the right channel by skipper Jimmy Ryan. Utilising his blistering pace, Burns was able to fire a menacing cross into the middle for Ameobi to side foot home, unmarked from 5-yards out.

Burns was on flames and he wanted number three as Town looked to finish Gillingham off before the game was 30 minutes old. Stepping up with a Cristiano Ronaldo stance, Burns unleased a rocket of a free-kick from 30-yards which sailed only a few centre meters over Nelson’s cross bar.

Justin Edinburgh’s promotion chasing side were given Town a slight reminder however that they are a team that have won the joint second amount of games so far this season.

A flurry of corners came their way but to Fleetwood’s credit, they defended every set piece bravely on a blustery Fylde coast evening.  

Victor Nirennold, who has shone in the right back slot, came just a fraction away from scoring his first goal for the Club in the most fortunate circumstances. His right wing cross picked up in the wind, causing the goalkeeper all sorts of issues but he eventually palmed over.

Gillingham were handed a way back into the match with ten minutes remaining of the first half. Norris profited on Joe Davis’ error at the back to fire past Maxwell, a poor goal for Fleetwood Town to concede.

The second half commenced with a change for the Cod Army, Antoni Sarcevic replaced for Hunter. Sarcevic was subbed at Coventry with a minor niggle and that looked to be the case once again.

George Williams had the second half’s first chance, a free-kick from 25-yards which flew wide of Maxwell’s post.

Sub Hunter was only a fine save away from making a perfect impact in the 54th minute. Ball, who had dropped back into a midfield role, cleverly played the attacker in on goal but a smart save from Nelson denied the former Ilkeston man.

Town’s second alteration came in the 66th minute, Bobby Grant joining in for Ball. Grant scored against the Gills when the sides last met in Kent. Sub number three followed in the form of Devante Cole, as he replaced Burns.

The second half was certainly a quieter affair compared to a frantic first 45 minutes at Highbury Stadium. It was a case of game management for the Cod Army, as they kept their one goal lead in tact, pressing the Gills every time they had possession of the football.

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