Fleetwood Town fought hard from start to the finish to claim another home win after claiming a 2-1 victory over Micky Mellon’s Tranmere Rovers at Highbury Stadium on Saturday.
A superb free-kick from Josh Morris and a composed second half strike from Paddy Madden made it seven home wins this season for Joey Barton’s side.
The match was end to end in the final stages, and with the visitors showing attacking intent, it Paul Mullin poked the ball past Billy Crellin to make it a nervy ending to the match at Highbury.
There was a special moment for Town’s 19-year-old goalkeeper Crellin - who made his EFL debut for the club, whilst also claiming the Man of the Match award.
The visitors had the first chances in the match and came out of the blocks quickly, but Fleetwood held strong at the back with Ashley Eastham and Harry Souttar starting well.
Rushian Hepburn Murphy showed trickery to get inside the Fleetwood box, but the danger was ushered away by Danny Andrew and Souttar at the far post.
Tranmere soon had their second opportunity, and this time it was Morgan Ferrier who managed to get a shot away on target, but Souttar denied him with a brilliant last ditch tackle.
After 15 minutes, Town took the lead in the match after a stunning free-kick from Morris – who whipped it around the wall and into the far corner past former Fleetwood 'keeper Scott Davies.
Five minutes later, Town thought that they had doubled their lead, but Kyle Dempsey’s tap in at the far post was ruled out as offside by the assistant referee.
The visitors kept plugging away on the Fylde Coast, and when Manny Monthe beat Crellin to the ball, he thought he had brought the scores level, however Andrew was there clear the ball off the line. Fleetwood leading at the break.
The away side came out of the blocks quickly, with two corners in quick succession. Eastham made a crucial block to deny Ferrier levelling the scorelines.
Crellin – who has played for England at U17-20 level - showed Town fans what he could do when Blackett-Tylor unleashed a ferocious shot goal wards, with the youngster tipping it away from danger.
The tide changed in the match, and when Dempsey found himself through on goal after Madden’s flick, he had the goal at his mercy, but narrowly sent his shot wide. Town came straight back from Davies’ goal-kick when Andrew tried his luck. The left-back saw his low driven shot pulled just wide.
Crellin again showed his quality as he excellently tipped over Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s deflected cross. A save that kept his side in the match with chances flying both ways.
That save was proven crucial as Town doubled their lead through the likely source of Madden - who slotted home underneath Davies, in a good counter attacking move.
Rovers didn’t give up and got a goal back through substitute Mullin as he bundled home from a corner.
Town held on in the end to pick up a valuable win, moving them up to seventh position in League One.
Now the Cod Army look ahead to Tuesday’s Leasing.com Trophy match away to Everton U21 – which will be played at Goodison Park (7:45 kick-off).
Town XI: Crellin (GK), Coyle, Andrew, Eastham, Souttar, Burns (Hunter 57’), Dempsey, Morris, Coutts (C) (Evans 57’), Rossiter (Sowerby 76’), Madden
Subs not used: Cairns (GK), McAleny, Dunne, Hunter, Biggins.
Tranmere XI: Davies (GK) (C), Nelson, Ray (Blackett-Taylor 37’), Monthe, Morris, Potter (Perkins 64’), Ferrier, Jennings, Caprice, Hepburn-Murphy (Mullin 86’), Borthwick-Jackson
Subs not used: Pilling (GK), Woods, Madox, Payne