COD ARMY IN LAND OF THE GI­ANTS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stephen Thirkill

GRA­HAM Alexander says his Fleet­wood Town play­ers are im­prov­ing ev­ery time they play the ‘gi­ants’ of League One.

First-half goals from Josh Mor­ris and Nick Laughton sealed an im­pres­sive victory at Sh­effield United for the Cod Army.

Matt Done gave lack­lus­tre United some hope with a 39th-minute strike, be­fore res­o­lute Fleet­wood de­fended su­perbly to seal their sev­enth away win of the cam­paign.

“You can see each time we play one of the big teams that the play­ers are im­prov­ing ev­ery time,” said Alexander.

“Ev­ery sin­gle player was su­perb. We played the game and not the crowd or the sta­dium and kept our com­po­sure when we needed it.

“I thought Mark Roberts and Nathan Pond were ex­cel­lent as was the whole team at de­fend­ing. We passed the ball when we needed to and did ev­ery­thing you have to do to win at places like this.

“This is a fan­tas­tic win.To com­pete at a place like this and win was some­thing the club just could not imag­ine seven years ago.”

But de­spite the de­feat, which was United’s sec­ond home loss in five days, Blades boss Nigel Clough said he was not dis­ap­pointed with the per­for­mance.

“Our per­for­mance was not too bad, but we lacked the qual­ity and the thought needed with our fi­nal ball,” said Clough.

“We have con­ceded six goals in our last three home games and you can­not do that and ex­pect to win.

“We are just giv­ing goals away at the mo­ment. Iain Turner has made a mis­take with their sec­ond goal, goal­keep­ing er­rors hap­pen but it was at a time when we can­not af­ford them.

“The bal­ance of the mid­field was not right.We did not have a con­trol of the game, but that is what hap­pens when you play with two up top like peo­ple have been call­ing for.”

Chris Maxwell saved well at the feet of Steven Davies on 11 min­utes as Sh­effield United en­joyed the best of the early ex­changes.

But it was Fleet­wood who went ahead on 25 min­utes when Mor­ris ham­mered home his sev­enth of the sea­son af­ter Jamie Proc­tor steered Pond’s clear­ance into his path.

And it was 2-0 on 35 min­utes when goal­keeper Turner was badly beaten at his near post by Haughton’s lon­grange ef­fort.

How­ever, Done steered home from a cor­ner on 39 min­utes to score his ninth of the sea­son and get United back into the game.

Blades boss Clough was left fum­ing on 63 min­utes when ref­eree Dar­ren Dead­man waved away penalty shouts af­ter Conor McLaugh­lin ap­peared to trip Jamie Mur­phy.

Maxwell ac­ro­bat­i­cally tipped over Michael Doyle’s close-range ef­fort on 75 min­utes as United upped the pres­sure. Done and Jay McEve­ley both fired wide in the closing stages as the im­pres­sive Fleet­wood com­fort­ably held out for a de­served win.

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

FLEET FOOTED: Josh Mor­ris ri­fles home to put Fleet­wood in to the lead at Bra­mall Lane

JUMP­ING FOR JOY: Nick Haughton scores the win­ner

STAR MAN MARK ROBER

TS Fleetwo

od

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