Player ratings: Fleetwood 0 AFC Wimbledon 1

The Gazette's Fleetwood Town reporter Rosie Swarbrick analyses the performances of the players from the opening day defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

Sunday, 5th August 2018, 2:09 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 11:41 am
Ched Evans was not happy after missing a chance but was the Gazette's star man on debut

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton's first official League One game in charge ended in defeat thanks to Joe Pigott's 60th minute effort.

Our reporter was at Highbury for the clash and here are Swarbrick's marks out of 10 from the game.

Alex Cairns - 6.5

Could he have done better with the goal? Probably. But given Town's experience in the back line should Pigott have been allowed to grab that chance? No. A really good stop from Cairns to keep Town in it at 1-0 in the second half showed just why Barton dubbed him the best in the division earlier this week though.

Lewie Coyle - 6

The Leeds United loanee is bringing a bit more defensive steel to his game, not as attacking as we are used to seeing him but I don't think that is necessarily a negative.

He did well to block Purrington's cross for the goal though the deflection inadvertently posed Town more questions that saw Pigott pounce.

Cian Bolger - 6.5

A surprise selection, I would have expected Eastham in his place, but he did pull off a vital block and looks hungry to fight for the shirt but still room for improvements like the whole of the defence.

Crain Morgan - 6

Like at Morecambe a bit nervous and slow early doors on what was his first league appearance since featuring for Wigan in May 2017. Not the best debut I have seen at Highbury but like the whole of the defence they will not be happy watching back the goal or the amount of chances they allowed the Dons. Work to be done.

Tommy Spurr - 5.5 He wasted two big back post chances from set-pieces when the ball fell to him, given his experience should be finishing those. A couple of sloppy loose passes that caused problems and the centre back did not look too comfy at left back.

Bobby Grant - 6

Oh so nearly got the leveller for Town with that left footed screamer that everyone thought was in. The post rescued the Dons but he showed why he was on the pitch with that 83rd minute effort nearly producing a goal with something out of nothing. A quality that will be needed this season.

Jack Sowerby - 5.5

A fairly forgettable performance from the youngster. Would not be surprised to see Jason Holt (suspended) or Dean Marney take his starting spot v Oxford.

Wes Burns - 6

Utilised on the right wing in a new role, bags of energy and pace but we still need to see more end product and like Dempsey in this pre-season we have seen that he is more than capable of bringing that with assists and goals.

Conor McAleny - 6

Like Evans was bright, alert and hungry, got his eye in with a few efforts but far from the same blistering opening day appearance from last year when he slayed Rotherham with two goals.

Kyle Dempsey - 6

He's been one of Town's biggest attacking threats on the left this pre-season but it appears Wimbledon did their homework and he barely got a sniff.

Ched Evans - 7

The stand out player for Fleetwood. Could have done with more support and ingenuity from those around him, that David Beckham-esque attempted chip from his own half shows his cleverness at this level. That effort just dropped wide but should have seen him keep his record of scoring for every new club on first start bar Manchester City City


Dean Marney on for Sowerby 61 - 6

Brought a bit more steel to the midfield of the park. Not starting due to fitness (His first game since Arsenal v Burnley Jan 17). But should be pushing for a start v Oxford.

Ash Hunter on for Coyle 66 - 6

Bright and full of bags of energy as always, with Town chasing the game not allowed as much space as could have had at 0-0 as Wimbledon defended resiliently.

Madden on for McAleny 66 - 6 Looked hungry on his introduction having started on the bench but like many of the other attackers not his day.