Fleetwood Town put in a superb performance to beat Coventry City 3-0 at Highbury Stadium on Tuesday night.
Second half goals from Dean Marney, Wes Burns and Ched Evans secured the three points for The Cod Army. Conor Chaplin had the chance to pull one back in the latter stages of the game, but he put his penalty over the crossbar, meaning that Town kept a second consecutive clean sheet at home.
The result also saw Joey Barton’s side returned to the top half of the Sky Bet League One table with the three points.
Barton made six changes to the starting line-up from Saturday’s defeat at Plymouth. Craig Morgan, James Husband, Burns, Marney, James Wallace and Conor McAleny started from the off.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, eight minutes in, as ex-Fleetwood forward, Jordy Hiwula was denied by Alex Cairns.
However Town replied almost instantly after a quick counter attack led to a chance for Evans on the edge of the box, but his shot was hit over the crossbar.
Jonson Clarke-Harris provided City with another early chance in the tenth minute. The Englishman created some space for him to get his shot away but a crucial block from Ashley Eastham cleared the danger.
Coventry continued to be a threat in the final third as Tom Bayliss was brought down in a central area, just 20 yards out. Chaplin’s resulting free-kick was hit high and wide of the target.
The Cod Army grew into the game, after the first 15 minutes saw the visitors have a large spell of possession. However, in the 17th minute Burns was picked out by Evans, after some great work down the left flank, but the shot was over the bar.
Town had another chance after Marney’s delivery into the box was met by Burns’ header but it didn’t trouble Lee Burge who caught it comfortably.
The Sky Blues had the first big chance of the game after some great work by Luke Thomas, down the right wing, who pulled it back to find Chaplin but Cairns made a brilliant save to deny the Coventry forward, in the 28th minute.
Eight minutes later and Burge was called into action, as Jack Grimmer’s interception almost caught the City ‘keeper out but he was at full stretch to cancel out a potential freak own goal.
On the brink of half-time, Fleetwood Town almost got the first goal of the night but Paddy Madden’s shot forced Burge into another save, who pushed it out for a corner.
Marney whipped in the resulting corner but it was cleared back out to the corner taker, who found Lewie Coyle arriving late into the box, but his low driven shot was cut out by a great save by Burge.
Fleetwood started the second half well, as Madden’s pass was met by Burns who’s initial strike was parried by City’s ‘keeper into the path of the forward but Evans couldn’t capitalise on Burns’ cross.
Town continued their momentum and in the 53rd minute it paid off, as Marney’s shot hit the back of the net, after he drove into box past Coventry’s back four.
Cairns made another good save after Thomas’ shot was hit low and hard, in an attempt to find an equaliser.
In the 59th minute, Evans almost got Fleetwood’s second after he met Marney’s corner but Burge got down quick to keep it out.
The second goal of the game did come though, in the 71st minute, after a great through ball found Burns, who was able to compose himself before sliding his finish under Burge and into the back of the net.
Two minutes later and Town were 3-0 up. Evans cut inside onto his right foot and got his shot off which glided past Burge and into the bottom right corner.
Coventry almost got a consolation goal as James Husband brought down Clarke-Harris inside the box, resulting in a penalty to the Sky Blues… But Chaplin couldn’t capitalise as he scuffed his penalty over the bar.
A second chance was given to the visitors to earn a consolation goal for the travelling fans but it wasn’t meant to be. Man of the match, Cairns was at full stretch to push, substitute, Tom Davies’ header wide, keeping a clean sheet.
So a great victory for Fleetwood, who now face Guiseley in the Emirates FA Cup on Monday night.