Mellon’s men obey orders to the letter

Hayes v Fleetwood'By derick Thomas'Town celebrate Nathan Pond goal
Hayes v Fleetwood'By derick Thomas'Town celebrate Nathan Pond goal
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FLEETWOOD Town have shown manager Micky Mellon that they have the spirit to keep battling for promotion until the final game.

Mellon has revealed that his team rose to the challenges he set them in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Hayes and Yeading and have given themselves a chance to break back into the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off zone this weekend, when Tamworth visit Highbury.

Having beaten Wrexham seven days earlier, Mellon threw down the gauntlet to his charges ahead the Hayes match. He revealed: “I said to the lads, ‘Let’s get back-to-back results to give us an opportunity going into a home game. We did that and we have set ourselves up now.

“It’s going to be difficult against Tamworth, but with the Cod Army roaring right behind us we are right there in the the mix with six games to go. We’ll keep fighting right to the end and with that spirit we’ll go close.”

Town remain two points outside the play-off quartet, but with fifth-placed Kidderminster at home to Luton, who are third, on Saturday, this weekend could prove a turning point. Town still have to visit Kidderminster, who are unbeaten in 12.

But after successive battling victories, Mellon has good reason to be buoyant.

He added: “The Hayes match was so important to us in the context of the season. I was delighted with the first half. It was a good professional performance.

“We’re disappointed with the goal we lost – to have someone coming through the middle of the pitch like that and not deal with it – but it was a fantastic result on a very bumpy pitch in difficult conditions.”

Indeed, it was an object lesson in the art of ‘winning ugly’ which Mellon has been preaching in recent weeks.

he admitted: “I said it would be a horrible game but I didn’t think it would be as horrible as that. It wasn’t a good game at all.

“But you have to be competitive and gritty. We got stuck in, and put our head in and our foot in and got the points.”

Another instruction Mellon’s team carried out was to score first, courtesy of Nathan Pond’s second goal of the season. “We were desperate for the first goal. It’s so important at this level,” added the manager.

And Pond was happy to oblige with his first goal since the 2-1 win at Grimsby in September.

He recalled: “It was a great corner from Anthony Barry. I attacked it, and when the ball came back to me I was the first to react and luckily it went in.

“We knew they would have a go at us second half and we went fairly deep, like we did against Wrexham when we took the lead.

“Unluckily for us they got the early goal and they put a bit more pressure on, but we dug in and defended well.”