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Report: Hunter goal in vain as Town slip to narrow defeat

22 October 2016

Hunter goal not enough to prevent defeat

Two Lee Gregory penalties saw Fleetwood Town defeated in the capital, despite a spirited comeback.

The striker fired twice from the spot either side of the half-time to end what had been a superb week for the Cod Army with a defeat.

Ash Hunter came off the bench and gave Uwe Rosler’s side hope with a superb long-range strike, but in the end it wasn’t to be enough to prevent defeat.

Rosler made two changes to the side which beat Chesterfield in midweek, with Martyn Woolford being handed a return to the starting line-up against his former club.

Elsewhere, Chris Long handed the Cod Army a boost by returning to fitness, they replaced Ash Hunter and Jack Sowerby.

Fleetwood settled into the game quickly on a bright but chilly afternoon in the capital, although there was little in terms of chances for either side to talk about in the opening ten minutes.

It took 13 minutes for the first half-chance for the Cod Army, when Bobby Grant’s right-wing cross was glanced towards goal by Woolford, sadly it was to drift harmlessly wide.

Another boost for Fleetwood ahead of the game was the return of Chris Neal in goal after his head injury on Tuesday and on 25 he was needed.

Shaun Williams’ curling free-kick from 25 yards looked destined for the top corner, only for the keeper to deny him superbly at full-stretch.

But five minutes later Town weren’t to be so lucky as Ash Eastham fouled Mahlon Romeo in the area, before Lee Gregory made no mistake from the penalty spot.

As half-time approached Fleetwood continued to look the most comfortable in possession, and almost conjured up an equaliser with two minutes remaining when Woolford drove a 20-yard effort just wide after good work from Grant.

The start of the second half couldn’t have been much worse, and sadly it was Fleetwood who were the architects of their own downfall as Nathan Pond hauled Byron Webster down in the area, before Gregory again scored from the spot.

As the half went on chances were few and far between, with Jimmy Ryan’s long-range effort on 55 minutes the only moment of note.

On the hour mark Rosler attempted to liven things up with the introduction of Hunter in attack, that also saw a change in formation, with Town switching to 4-4-2.

Then out of nowhere Town had a lifeline, after a sensational strike from Hunter who picked the ball up 25-yards from goal and rattled one into the top corner.

It was a stunning goal.

The goal prompted Town’s best spell of the game, as did the introduction of Devante Cole in attack.

And it was he who was only denied by a brilliant save after Ryan waltzed his way into the box before crossing towards Cole only for the striker to be denied.

Sadly it wasn’t to be enough, although six points out of nine this week will soften the blow for the Cod Army.

Fleetwood Town: Neal, McLaughlin, Bell, Eastham (Bolger 81), Pond, Ryan, Ball, Grant, Long (Cole 69), Woolford (Hunter 60), Dempsey.
Subs not used: Cairns, Jonsson, Wallace, Sowerby.

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