Fleetwood Town picked up their first home win of the year after a 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers on a windy Saturday afternoon at Highbury.
Ched Evans opened the scoring after half an hour after a Josh Morris corner was fumbled in the Doncaster area, leaving the Welshman with an open net.
Harry Souttar doubled Town’s lead shortly after the break after firing the ball in past Seny Dieng from close range. The visitors did manage to pull one back through Niall Ennis, but Fleetwood held on to secure all three points.
The start of the game was not an easy task for either side as the conditions proved to be difficult to create any chances.
The first effort of the game did fall for the hosts. Josh Morris set up Evans nicely after Glenn Whelan won the ball, but Evans’ strike was blocked by Tom Anderson.
Seven minutes later, Fleetwood had a golden chance to open the scoring after a quick free-kick was played short before Lewie Coyle. The full-back whipped the ball in the box, but Souttar’s header was cleared off the line.
The game then calmed down for a short while before the half-hour mark when a ball from midfield found the running-in Morris who forced a sure stop from Dieng.
Doncaster's goalkeeper had to be alert soon after too after a free-kick from Danny Andrew dipped into the box. The ball just missed the head of Callum Connolly before Dieng caught the ball a few inches from his goal-line.
With a number of chances falling for the home side, the first goal was only a matter of time away, and that came from Evans ten minutes before the break.
A corner from Morris’ corner caused havoc in the Doncaster box, before Evans pounced at the opportunity to fire the Cod Army into the lead, and to make it nine for the season.
From the restart, the visitors looked for an instant reply. Sadlier struck the ball from distance, but Alex Cairns grasped it with safe hands.
The visitors struggled to get a foothold on the game after Fleetwood took the lead, but did attempt a couple of crosses into the Fleetwood box towards the end of the half, but none threatened the Town backline.
Town continued the second half as they finished the first, and could have doubled the lead one minute into the second period. Andrew’s shot narrowly went over the crossbar.
The second half arrived for Town, and again it was a set-piece that spelled trouble for the Doncaster defence. Souttar fired the ball into the net after latching onto the loose ball, giving the keeper no chance.
Shortly after, the visitors reduced the deficit. Sadlier again was involved along with Jon Taylor, and when he won possession of the ball from a defensive error, he pounced on it, played in Niall, who buried his chance when it came.
Just shy of the hour mark, Town could have been 3-1 up, however Connolly’s header beat the keeper but not the goal.
Paddy Madden came on to replace Lewie Coyle, and didn’t take long for the Irishman to get into the action. He worked the ball well and forced a low stop from Dieng after shooting on a tight angle on the right-flank.
With five minutes of the ninety to go, it was all about defending for the home side to try and bring the three points home.
It was a little nervy in added time with five minutes of time to be played. Darren Moore's piled his men forward and they had chances to score through Cameron John and Brad Haliday right at the death, but the resolute defending from Fleetwood made the points safe for Joey Barton’s side.
The Cod Army will go into the next game with confidence as they are on the road at AFC Wimbledon next Saturday afternoon.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle (Madden 71’), Andrew, Connolly, Souttar, Burns, Evans (C) (Saunders 90+5), Morris (Coutts 62’), Whelan, Gibson, Sowerby.
Subs not used: Crellin (GK), Baggley, Hill, Garner.
Doncaster Rovers XI: Deng (GK), Halliday, Anderson, Wright, Sheaf (Coppinger 72’), Sadlier (Cole 68), Whiteman (C), Taylor (Okenabirhe 81’), Gomes, Ennis, John.
Subs not used: Jones (GK), James, Ramsey.
Attendance: 3,008 (453)