McAlinden hails flourishing partnership

David Ball and Liam McAlinden
David Ball and Liam McAlinden

Liam McAlinden is seeing his partnership with David Ball flourish at Fleetwood Town.

The on-loan Wolves striker has scored two goals in three games for Graham Alexander’s side, helping them to victories over Barnsley and Notts County.

With four goals he is joint top-scorer for Town, and with a strike rate of one every three games the 21-year-old is easily the most prolific in the Highbury ranks.

Ball was also on the scoresheet on Saturday, and his striker partner hopes the pair can provide a solution to Fleetwood’s scoring problems if they remain in action together on a regular basis.

McAlinden said: “Me and Bally have scored three goals in four games between us, so hopefully we continue to click.

“Any partnership takes time, but when you start playing with someone every week you start to learn their game.

“On Saturday we started a bit differently and played closer to each other, as opposed to be being split, and it worked out well.”

McAlinden and Ball have consistently found the net when they have played together this season, though the partnership was split when Ball broke his leg in the 2-1 defeat at Milton Keynes in October.

McAlinden was then recalled by Wolves and Town’s goals dried up over the festive period.

McAlinden hopes those goal-shy days are behind Fleetwood now and, like the rest of the camp, he is eyeing a more consistent run as the business end of the season looms.

But the Irish Under-21 international, who won promotion from League One with Wolves last season, believes Town have the recipe for success.

He said:“There’s a lot of experience in the team and also lots of flair with the young lads going forward. We’ve got a great balance here and it’s a just a matter of clicking now.

“We seem to win one and then lose one, so we need to find a consistency in what we do.

“We’ve got a lot of spirit in this team, which will hopefully keep us going and picking up more points.”

Town visit out-of-form Chesterfield this weekend. The Spireites are on a run of four consecutive defeats, their form dipping dramatically since the sale of top scorer Eoin Doyle to Cardiff City.

And McAlinden believes Saturday’s game can provide the win Fleetwood need to break into the top six.

He said: “Chesterfield is a game we should be going into looking to win, so we’ll work hard all week in training and go into it with the same mentality as we did against Notts County”

That mentality was summed up by Fleetwood’s battling display following the sending- off of Stephen Crainey, who will miss Saturday’s trip to Derbyshire as well as Tuesday’s home game against Scunthorpe United.

It was the perfect response to their capitulation against Crewe seven days earlier in a 2-0 defeat at Gresty Road.

McAlinden added: “Saturday’s win was one we had to dig out really after the sending off but we managed to get the right result.

“We’ve all got a say in what goes on around here and we were all disappointed with the result at Crewe because we know we’re better than that.”