Alexander laments sucker-punch

Stephen Dobbie misses an early chance
Stephen Dobbie misses an early chance

Graham Alexander was left to lament faulty finishing as his team fell to a late sucker punch at Crawley.

Alexander’s early League One pacesetters have slipped to seventh place after back-to-back 1-0 defeats on the road.

Fleetwood dominated at Broadfield Stadium on Saturday but couldn’t convert any of their chances.

The Red Devils only needed one to snatch victory, Izale McLeod racing clear to blast past Chris Maxwell after 78 minutes.

Alexander refused to criticise his team’s performance but voiced his frustration at the lack of finishing.

He said: “I’d have been gutted at drawing. We played ever so well, created loads of chances but didn’t take them. We got stung near the end.

“At the end of the day it’s about putting the ball in the net. We haven’t done that.

“I’m disappointed with the result but really pleased with how we played. We just need the cutting edge.”

Stephen Dobbie, Jamie Proctor and Conor McLaughlin all squandered chances as Fleetwood struggled to test Brian Jensen in the Crawley goal.

But Alexander refused to put Fleetwood’s current scoring problems down to fortune.

He added: “I don’t think you can say it’s about luck.

“If you want the ball and you’re in a goalscoring position, it’s down to you. I don’t believe in luck. If it hits both posts and comes back out, then maybe that’s luck.

“I know the keeper well and he’s made a couple of great saves. But it’s still a game we should have won.”

Town are quickly discovering there are no easy goals in League One and that the higher you climb the finer the margins between victory and defeat.

“We spoke about that last week,” said Alexander. “We have to find that ruthless edge ourselves. We’ve lost a game in which I can’t think of our keeper making a save.”

Alexander was, however, adamant Crawley’s winner should have been disallowed.

He claims to have seen video evidence of two handballs by McLeod during the build- up. He told The Gazette: “I think the lad has moved it with his arms. He’s moved it with both arms. I’ve looked at it on the laptop.

“He’s caught the ball and guided it where he wants it, but we can’t complain about that because it should have been a consolation goal.

“We’ve done so much of the work with the possession and getting into good positions. It’s the last two per cent of putting it in the net that we’re missing.”

Town aim to get back on track at home to Barnsley on Wednesday but Alexander believes shouldn’t have fallen off the pace as they have.

He said: “We should be sitting with four extra points. We should have had one from last weekend and three from this one but we haven’t.

“We can’t go through the season with sob stories. We’ve got to make sure we turn things our way when we’re dominant.”