A first visit to Fleetwood Town and a chance to experience a new ground.
The away fans were housed in the corner of the all-seater main stand which was very impressive. It had great views of the pitch and excellent facilities.
It certainly was something which we could aspire to when looking at ideas to replace the main stand at Whaddon Road.
Most of the locals recommended visiting Jim’s sports bar pre-match which is situated at the ground and from what I gather it has become a firm favourite with the travelling fans.
A nice touch from the Fleetwood staff was a copy of the team sheet to all away fans before the match, it showed four changes from Saturday's line-up.
Jombati, McGlashan, Mohamed and Harrison were replaced by Jones, Penn, Carter and Deering. Our plan looked like we wanted to be very compact in midfield and keep hold of the ball as much as possible.
In the first half we played some of our best football of the season. We passed the ball around the midfield with ease, Sam Deering was everywhere and Fleetwood rarely ventured into our half. It was capped off with a great strike from just outside the box by Marlon Pack. The only slight downside to the first half was our failure to capitalise on our dominance and score another couple of goals which our play fully deserved.
The second half was more even, Fleetwood started to pass the ball better but we still created plenty of half chances without getting that killer second goal. Fleetwood’s goal understandably upset Mark Yates as a simple corner floated to the near post was headed in by our Whaddon Road tormentor Junior Brown. He was totally unmarked Yates was not impressed in his post-match interview.
Another draw which on the face of things would have been seen as a very good result but post match it felt like another opportunity missed. Unlike our other recent draws though this performance showed signs of a vast improvement and a balanced team shape going forward into the next couple of games.
OUT OF TEN
Scott Brown 7 – Had nothing to do except pick the ball out of the net. Must be frustrating not to get a clean sheet which the team performance deserved
Keith Lowe 7 – Linked up well with the midfield, tried to get forward and keep the dangerous Howell from getting into good crossing positions.
Billy Jones 7 – We looked more balanced with a left footer at left back.
Steve Elliott 7 – Took a heavy knock early on and looked in some pain but battled through well especially against Jon Parkin in the second half
Michael Hector 8 – Classy, cool and composed. Dealt with everything Fleetwood threw at him.
Russ Penn 7 – Back into the side and gave his all for his teammates
Jason Taylor 7 – Did exactly what we needed, broke up play and passed it on quickly. Should have scored with a good chance in the first half
Marlon Pack 7 – Another great goal and another very good performance. In his best form of the season.
Darren Carter 7 – Not his favoured position out on the left of midfield but did a good job for the team.
Sam Deering 8* - Birthday boy and a performance which he can be very proud of. He was a livewire throughout, creating chances, driving into the box and almost scoring the team goal of the season with a long range shot in the first half.
Paul Benson 7 – Worked tirelessly and on another day could have had a couple of goals