Fleetwood far from best but Pressley's proud
Steven Pressley admitted his side were well below their best against Gillingham last night, despite claiming a second top-six scalp in four days.
On a wild and wet Highbury night, Fleetwood were 2-0 up in the first 10 minutes – Wes Burns’ deflected corner got the ball rolling before Shola Ameobi smashed home his first for the club.
Luke Norris made the most of a Joe Davis mistake to haul the Gills back into it 10 minutes before the break but Fleetwood battled bravely on, the wind dropping in the second half to help them see out the win.
“In the opening 10 minutes we were devastating,” smiled Pressley after this third win in four games.
“I thought it was a difficult night. The truth is we didn’t play our most fluid football, far from it. But sometimes you have to find a different way to win and we did that.”
Fleetwood dug in to grind out the victory, substitute Ash Hunter having three solid second-half chances which proved too tricky to convert.
Elliott List might have snatched a point for the visitors but couldn’t get a toe on a deflected cross.
Pressley admitted: “We didn’t really get control of the game as we normally do but we were a threat on the counter.
“In the opening exchanges we caught them a number of times with Wes’ pace down the right. That was very prominent in some stages.
“But we gave up too many crosses in the first half and they are a team that is very dangerous from crosses.
“We made a slight tactical switch to play a slightly different system, and we defended really well against the wind. In the second half we had the three best chances.”
Town’s early smash and grab was a masterclass in making the most of conditions.
But Pressley was more taken with the way his side went about the task of shackling one of the division’s pace-setters.
“The wind was very much in our favour,” he said. “It was strong, the rain was lashing and it was at our backs.
“The wind helped with the opening corner and a few other opportunities.
“But I’m really proud of the group. We put a massive effort in on Saturday and I knew it was going to take another massive effort against another top six-side .
“We’ve done the same again and the group deserves enormous credit.”
Now Pressley hopes Town’s first back-to-back wins since November will prove a significant turning point.
He said: “In the past we’ve got over a couple of hurdles, and then failed to deliver with the one where we can really move ourselves away from that relegation area. It was really important that we won the game.”