Fleetwood Town 3 Doncaster Rovers 0: Fleetwood boss Joey Barton and Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann react to the result

Joey Barton
Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton joked that he felt his side were feeling the impact of their Christmas dinner in the first half as an impressive second half showing felled Doncaster Rovers on Boxing Day at Highbury.

Paddy Madden scored in the 11th minute but Doncaster dominated the opening 45 minutes.

Andy Butler having a goal disallowed for offside but Town remained ahead at the break.

Town impressed in the second half with Ash Hunter scoring in the 48th minute and Madden netting again in added time.

It saw Town do the double over Rovers as they added to a 4-0 win at the Keepmoat to make it seven unbeaten in the league at Highbury.

Barton said: " There were periods of the first half when I was thinking 'have our lads consumed too much Christmas dinner'.

"Second half they had burnt through whatever they had eaten and we were first class.

"There is no right or wrong way.

"Had we been beaten I'd have still felt it was the right thing to do.

"As I say there are very few days in the calendar for the family like Christmas day and I think it is important to be happy and be with your family.

"It is great to play football but I did not think one day light training would make a huge difference.

"You are either fit or ready or you are not.

"Thankfully the lads got us the three points and they might have a chance of getting next Christmas off."

While Rovers boss McCann says his side did not look their normal selves as he pondered whether having Christmas Day off lead to their first defeat in nine at Highbury.

Ex-Peterborough boss McCann says he has not brought players in for training on the 25th for the last few years.

Town also had the day off but a Paddy Madden double and Ash Hunter effort saw Barton's side get the points.

McCann says it is the first time his side have not trained before a game but he says there is no time to dwell as they now face Gillingham on Saturday.

He said: "I have not done it for three years.

"I have not had my teams train on Christmas Day.

"Yes we travelled that night but we looked flat on Boxing Day.

"I'm learning about the group but it is the first time we have not trained before the game.

"Christmas is about spending it with your family.

"Fleetwood were not flat and they had Christmas Day off.

"We did not look our normal selves.

"It is the first defeat in nine.

"We wanted to get back into the top six, a frustrating day but we need to get back on it for Gillingham."