James Husband admitted he benefited from Ross Wallace’s absence to become Fleetwood Town’s unlikely goalscoring hero with his first for the club.
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The Norwich City loanee salvaged a point for Town against Gillingham with a stoppage time free-kick to earn a 1-1 draw at Highbury.
Wallace missed the game through suspension and even Town boss Joey Barton admitted Husband’s late intervention took him by surprise.
The full-back said: “They said they thought it was a cross but I used the weather conditions nicely, It’s nice to get my first goal. I’ll be on them (free-kicks) every week. He (Barton) can’t take me off them now!
“If Ross Wallace is on the pitch, then he will probably take it but it was nice to chip in with a goal and get a point that we probably deserved.”
The point preserved Town’s lingering hopes of a play-off place going into an away double-header in the next week. They follow Saturday’s trip to Walsall with a visit next Tuesday to Coventry City, who leapfrogged Town into eighth place last weekend.
The odds look to be stacked against Town making the top six but Husband insists that is not the attitude among the players. “Every person in that changing room believes it’s still doable and we will go until it’s not,” he said.
“We managed to grind out a point and as long as there’s a chance we will give it a go.
“We feel we have a lot more control in a football game than we had at the start of the year.
“Everyone knows their role and each other’s and we’re starting to see a week-by-week level of consistency.
“We have full confidence in the way we are playing.”
But Barton believed the absence of Ross and James Wallace was costly for Town on Saturday.
Ross was completing his two-match suspension, while James picked up a hamstring injury at Bradford City last month.
Their absences meant the starting midfield three on Saturday of Lewie Coyle, Jack Sowerby and Nathan Sheron.
Barton said: “Gillingham play a tight diamond and we wanted lads in there a bit more defensively-minded.
“We carved out a couple of half-opportunities but we are a team in progress.
“To lose players of Ross Wallace and James Wallace’s quality when the squad is as small as ours....
“We need everyone fit, so we have that quality.”