MICKY Mellon hailed exciting times at Highbury as Fleetwood notched up a fourth successive League Two win to climb to third in the table, writes ROB STOCKS.
Andy Mangan’s header two minutes into injury time sealed the points for Fleetwood against Northampton Town, who had survived more than an hour with 10 men following the dismissal of Daniel East.
Mellon insists it’s too early to get carried away but acknowledged the great progress his side are making.
The Town boss said: “I’m delighted where we’ve got to but we know we’re not good enough not to take each game at a time.
“We’ll look at the Port Vale game (tomorrow), which is a fantastic opportunity for us to have a look at one of the teams who are flying under the floodlights here at Highbury with a big crowd. It’s exciting times.
“We’re pleased with the progress we’re making in a new league, and with the way we’re passing and moving. For a lot of the team it’s their first ever Football League game, so we’re delighted with where we are.”
It looked, for a time, like Fleetwood would have to settle for a point but Mellon was full of praise for the performance.
He said: “I felt we played some really good football. It was disappointing that numerous chances didn’t go our way.
“But I was delighted all the way through with the way we played and created chances. We got our full-backs in behind.
“It’s always difficult to play against two banks of four and get a result, so we’re very happy.”
Mellon withdrew targetman Jon Parkin after half an hour and admitted he had been concerned about the prospect of the big striker earning a second yellow card.
He said: “I think sometime referees can just let things go. It’s a contact sport and not every bit of contact is a foul.
“I think he just felt he had to make a decision on every little bit of contact and it made things very difficult for us in a game that was by no means dirty. “It was played in a really good spirit, with two teams trying to play the right way.
“I just felt the referee thought he had to make a decision every time Jon went for the ball and I thought it was inevitable he was going to get another yellow card for persistent fouling.
“We thought we had an able substitute in Steven Gillespie and just made a quick decision to make sure we stayed with 11 men.”
Gillespie also had a frustrating day in front of goal, shooting wide twice in the second half from scoring positions.
Mellon said: “He’s disappointed that he’s not taken one or two chances but I like that – I want him to be disappointed because he’s a striker and he’s come here to score goals.
“We’re pleased with what he did. His movement was really good and it was great to get him playing for us.” Thankfully, Mangan was on hand at the death to scored from a flick-on by Junior Brown, who Mellon singled out for praise.
He said: “Junior’s flick was incredible athleticism from a very, very good player and Andy Mangan’s there and does what he does best.”
Second-placed Vale are tomorrow’s visitors to Highbury and Mellon said: “It’s relentless but we’re prepared for three games in eight days.
“We’ll look on Monday to see if we need to use the squad but we’re not going to be too reckless. We want to keep things fresh and keep things moving forward.”