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Report: Evans and Madden fire Town to victory

A goal in each half gives Cod Army first win of the season

11 August 2018

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Fleetwood Town picked up their first points of the season on Saturday, thanks to a 2-0 victory away at Oxford United.

Ched Evans and a late Paddy Madden penalty sealed the victory, in a game which Joey Barton’s side looked comfortable throughout. 

The Welshman opened his account for the season after Kyle Dempsey worked well on the right hand side to win the ball back from Curtis Nelson, and the midfielder had the composure to cross the ball across to Evans, who couldn’t miss from five yards.

And it was Madden who picked the ball up to take the penalty after Burns was taken down by Oxford keeper Scott Shearer. The forward sent the goalkeeper the wrong way sending the travelling away fans home happy. 

You’d have to say it was an even first half as both teams looked nervous after both were defeated on the opening day, however it was Ashley Hunter who had to first effort on goal in the sixth minute, forcing goalkeeper Shearer pull off a smart save.

It was a nervy moment for Craig Morgan as he passed the ball across the box straight to Sam Smith, who ran towards the Town goal, but the striker failed to finish his chance, with Alex Cairns making a good save low down to his left hand side.

In a period where the game was played in the middle of the park, it was a mistake in Oxford third that allowed Dempsey to nick the ball off the defender, he ran toward the by-line and picked his head up to find Evans, who was free inside the 18-yard box, and couldn’t miss from that range.

Dempsey should have made it two when Hunter ran towards the goal of the home side, and with Evans to his right and Dempsey to his left, he played in Dempsey who when he went to strike the ball, his standing foot gave way, which ultimately saw his strike go wide.

The second-half saw the away side come out and continue their attacking play and putting Karl Robinson’s side under pressure, and went close through Evans again went Hunter delivered a peach of a ball to the striker, whose header went narrowly wide.

Oxford had a great chance to equalise through their summer signing, Jamie Mackie. The former Queens Park Rangers forward found himself at the far post unmarked after Ricky Holmes’ cross found him and, saw his header went back across the goal, and out for a goal kick. Huge let off for Barton’s side.

Dean Marney – who made his first start for Town after joining the club on a free transfer – had the defender on the floor midway through the second-half and had Jason Holt running into the box, however the pass was just behind the Scotsman.

Robinson made changes for the home side, looking to get some pace onto the field of play, but it was Holmes who looked dangerous throughout the game who had a great opportunity inside the box, but again he saw his effort sail away from the goal.

Town brought on Nathan Sheron – who is the first player ever player from the club’s academy to play in the league – and alongside Dempsey and Holt, the young midfielder ensured the three points came back to the Fylde Coast.

Madden, a late substitute in the game made it two nil to the away side after Wes Burns won the Cod Army a penalty, and there was no chance of the Irishman missing from the penalty spot.

The perfect away performance against Oxford, where Town have never lost. 

Oxford United XI: Shearer (GK), Garbutt, Dickie, Nelson ©, Hall, Brannagan, Smith, Holmes, Ruffels, Mackie, McMahon.

Subs not used: Norman, Browne, Mousinho, Whyte, Henry, Obika.

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Holt, Eastham, Dempsey, Evans (Madden 78’), Grant (Burns 72’), G. Jones, Morgan ©, Hunter, Marney (Sheron 74’).

Subs not used: P. Jones (GK), Spurr, McAleny, Sowerby.

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