Fleetwood Town continued their fine home form with an emphatic 5-1 win over Ryan Lowe’s Plymouth Argyle on Saturday afternoon in the Sky Bet League One fixture at Highbury Stadium.
The Cod Army looked to continue their ascendency to the play-off spots after their 4-1 win over Bristol Rovers last time out, where the Green Army looked to build on their 2-2 draw against Portsmouth- but it would be the hosts who claimed maximum points on the day with a five-star performance.
It was the team from the Fylde Coast who set the tone of the game in the opening few minutes, pressing every man in a Green shirt at any opportunity- Fleetwood’s hard-work and intensity was rewarded just four minutes in.
Sam Finley found himself battling hard with Plymouth’s Joe Edwards deep in the away side’s half, where Finley drove forward with the ball and 18 yards out superbly struck it over Cooper in the goal as it flew into the back of the net.
The Cod Army’s lead was doubled only minutes later where man-in-form Callum Camps intercepted Kelland Watt’s back-pass where the Fleetwood man kept his composure and slid the ball under a scrambling Cooper and into the back of the net.
As time went on in the opening half an hour, the confidence grew within the Cod Army and a deserved third was scored- Wesley Burns found himself in a one on one scenario with Cooper where the Welshman cutely chipped the ball over Argyle’s number one to create a mountain to climb for the away-side.
Plymouth never looked to test Jayson Leutwiler between the Fleetwood sticks in the first half, as every ball, tackle and aerial duel was won by a player in red.
Two early tactical substitutions from Ryan Lowe meant the Green Army had one chance left to bring on three subs and that’s what Lowe did at half-time, but Joey Barton’s side were not phased by these changes at all.
A fourth goal for the side from the Fylde Coast came from Blackburn loanee and ex Scotland captain Charlie Mulgrew.
A dangerous free-kick on the left-hand side of the box was whipped in by Josh Morris and was attacked by Mulgrew where his glancing header flew into the back of the net, his first goal for his new side. This goal ensured an even healthier lead for Fleetwood.
Coming up to the hour mark and Fleetwood had the game under control, some exquisite one-touch football from the hosts oozed confidence and class.
The likes of Ched Evans, Glen Whelan, Mark Duffy, Paul Coutts and Barrie McKay coming off the bench for the Town showed the strength in depth Fleetwood have; Adding these names onto the quality already on the pitch, a fifth goal was inevitable.
Man-in-form Callum Camps got his second of the game and Fleetwood’s final goal of the day as a poor clearance from Moore found Camps, who caught a half-volley with absolute venom into the roof of the net from 18 yards out.
A mere consolation goal for Plymouth came in the 83rd minute after finally breaking down Fleetwood’s stubborn defence.
Frank Nouble’s cross from the right found Luke Jephcott who guided the ball into the bottom left corner.
It was an afternoon up north to forget for Ryan Lowe as first-half substitute Canavan was shown his second yellow of the game and was sent for an early shower on a late tackle on Ched Evans.
The final whistle was blown and was welcomed by Argyle’s defence, as it was an afternoon full of hard-work where the tenacity of Fleetwood was just too much for the men in green.
All in all it was a very impressive display from Joey Barton’s men, every player on the pitch working for each other ensured the Cod Army took maximum points and sent Plymouth on a long journey home with plenty to think about.
The win was Fleetwood’s 7th in a row at home as the Cod Army welcome fellow play-off hopefuls in Sunderland next Friday.