Cen­tu­rion Evans is catch of the day

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Bull

FLEET­WOOD Town manager Gra­ham Alexander hailed come­back-kid Gareth Evans af­ter the mid­fielder’s goal in his 100th ap­pear­ance for the club earned the Cod Army a de­served victory.

Evans scored the game’s win­ner on 18 min­utes, fir­ing in low from close range fol­low­ing good work by David Ball.

It was Town’s first-ever victory at Pri­est­field Sta­dium, and marked Evans’ re­turn to the side af­ter miss­ing the last two fix­tures.

“Gaz came out of the team for a cou­ple of games, but you know what you’re go­ing to get from him when you need that en­ergy and end prod­uct,” said Alexander.

“He’s come up with a goal to win the game, just as he did at Ley­ton Ori­ent ear­lier this sea­son.

“The goal was a great re­ward for our start – we con­trolled the first half re­ally well. But we knew there would be a re­ac­tion from them at half­time, and we man­aged it for large parts.

“They put us un­der some pres­sure from set­pieces but in gen­eral play we de­fended re­ally well and were dis­ci­plined.”

Evans had blazed a half-vol­ley over the bar be­fore he opened the scor­ing. Fol­low­ing a throw-in from for­mer Gills loa­nee Adam Chick­sen, Ball’s cross was par­ried by goal­keeper Glenn Mor­ris and Evans re­acted fastest to slot home.

He was in­volved in an­other Town chance five min­utes later, as he put through Ball, who fired nar­rowly wide at the end of a free-flow­ing move.

Ball was again de­nied in the 56th minute by a spec­tac­u­lar save from Glenn Mor­ris, be­fore Gills de­fender Max Eh­mer di­verted his shot nar­rowly past the post sec­onds later.

The Gills, who have never beaten Town in the Foot­ball League, came clos­est when Aaron Mor­ris’ header saved well by Town goal­keeper Chris Maxwell. Winger Jer­maine McGlashan fired at Maxwell fol­low­ing a quick break and Luke Nor­ris’ ef­fort was de­flected wide by Steven Schu­macher.

Gills boss Justin Ed­in­burgh be­moaned the team’s cur­rent home form, which has seen them draw two and lose two out of their last four at Pri­est­field.

“We’re at home – we’ve got to take the ini­tia­tive, and make the most of our pos­ses­sion,” he said.

“The play-offs were al­ways a long shot, but not win­ning games at home will be a dis­ap­point­ing fac­tor when we look back at the sea­son.

“There was not a lot in it, but we did not man­age to break a team down again.We had enough pos­ses­sion, but we lacked a cut­ting edge and self be­lief in the fi­nal third.

“We huffed and puffed but we’re com­ing up short. It’s frus­trat­ing.”

STAR MAN GARETH EVANS Fleetwo

od

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