All square in old pals’ reunion

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It’s all systems go for the start of the League Two season next Saturday against Dagenham and Redbridge for Fleetwood Town after they drew their final friendly match at Conference club Southport 1-1.

It was every bit an old pals’ reunion with so many familiar faces in the Southport camp.

Ex-Town full-back Alan Wright is the Sandgrounders’ boss, assisted by one-time Highbury regular John Hills, and the Southport camp also included former Town players, Jamie Milligan, now the skipper, Danny Hurst, Scott Brown, Matty Flynn and David Stephenson.

Fleetwood drew first blood after 23 minutes, netting through David Ball.

Stewart Murdoch tested ‘keeper Hurst, whose save only rebounded to Ball, who tucked the ball away deftly.

Junior Brown caused danger with his sorties along the right flank, and he saw one goal-bound effort well parried by his old team-mate Hurst, who was on the alert.

Ball had a chance to make it two, but his effort whistled wide of the post.

Steven Schumacher nearly scored, too, amid a goalmouth scramble.

Southport equalised, dead-ball specialist Milligan not found wanting right on half-time when the home side were awarded a disputed penalty.

Referee Ian Hussein ruled that Liam Hogan had handled in the area, and Milligan slotted home the penalty, fooling ‘keeper Scott Davies into going the wrong way.

Both sides rang the changes, making plentiful substitutions throughout the 90 minutes.

Brown tested Hurst yet again as Fleetwood sought to regain the lead in the second period.

Jamille Matt was thwarted by Hurst after more excellent work by the marauding Brown.

Ryan Cresswell then tried a header, but it sailed over the Southport bar - Ryan Crowther also went close for the visitors.

Southport were not short of chances themselves, Steve Tames missing a couple of good openings for Wright’s side, who the previous Saturday had beaten another League Two side Chesterfield in a pre-season friendly.

Fleetwood: Davies, Murdoch (Evans) Roberts, Schumacher (Sacevic) Brown, Hogan (McLaughlin) Cresswell, Blair (Matt) Ball (Parkin) Crowther, Jordan (Howell).