Three things we learned from Fleetwood’s 1-0 midweek win over Chesterfield.
1) Conor McLaughlin has a cracking shot in his locker.
Conor McLaughlin netted his first goal of the season and only his fifth career goal with all the composure of an experienced striker.
The defender had missed an attempt from a similar position at Bradford but after young gun Jack Sowerby outfoxed Chesterfield’s defence and rolled the ball back to the full-back in the box he picked his spot and rifled the ball home with aplomb.
2) Alex Cairns can handle unbelievable pressure
It was a debut Cairns was not expecting after Town’s number one Chris Neal was accidentally kneed in the face in the six-yard box by Chesterfield captain Gary Liddle and was forced off in the ninth minute but he shone under immense pressure.
Just minutes after entering the fray in the torrential rain and swirling winds at the Proact Stadium the 23-year-old was called straight into action to stop Kristian Dennis who had latched onto Jimmy Ryan’s poor back pass to run one-on-one.
With Town unable to add that all important second goal despite carving out some good chances he was put under pressure with Chesterfield upping their search for a leveller in the final 15 minutes.
But he stood up to the challenge, was saved by the woodwork twice, survived a goalmouth scramble and made a fine one-footed save to thwart ex-team mate Jay O’Shea from close range and kept a clean sheet in his first league game since he came off the bench for Leeds in their 5-0 defeat to Blackpool back in 2011.
His handling and positioning was good and it is refreshing to see a number two come in and slot in with ease and confidence despite the 23-year-old’s considerable lack of first team match action.
It also shows the Rosler’s squad mentality works with any player whether they are in the starting XI or not coming in and seamlessly adapting
3) Town can win ugly
It was not a pretty display, especially the start but Town proved that they can win ugly at Chesterfield.
They recovered from losing number one Neal and stood firm in defence even when Chesterfield were boosted by the return of star striker Ched Evans from a heel injury off the bench.
It was not pretty but when they did attack Chesterfield the fast flowing attack football paid dividends with McLaughlin clinical after neat work from Sowerby.
It was an especially pleasing win giving what happened against Sheffield United with Town conceding an equaliser with 20 seconds to go in injury time but unlike that game their defensive will to put their bodies on the line and defend with their lives as every man did their bit to stop Chesterfield paid dividends with Uwe Rosler’s men picking up a clean sheet and more importantly all three points.