Ryan back after seven-year hitch

Ryan Crowther celebrates scoring
Ryan Crowther celebrates scoring

FLEETWOOD’S forgotten man Ryan Crowther is desperate to play his part in a Highbury promotion push after bagging his first ever Football League goal.

Seven years after making his League bow for Stockport, Crother netted that landmark goal just 13 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute in Town’s 3-0 home victory over Oxford United on Saturday.

The 24-year-old winger told The Gazette: “It was brilliant to make another appearance in the Football League (only his third) and to do it for Fleetwood.

“I’ve been out on loan but this is where I want to be and I want to be part of things here.

“Hopefully under the new gaffer things might be different and I’ll get my opportunity. I just need to make sure I take it.”

Crowther is one of several players to benefit from Graham Alexander’s new broom at Highbury.

The manager recalled him from a second loan spell at Hyde United, the Conference club Town recruited Crowther from in November 2011.

The winger added: “When a new manager comes in, everyone’s got a clean slate and I’m a good example.

“I’ve not been here, I’ve been out on loan. Now I’m here I can see the change.”

Saturday’s appearance was only Crowther’s fourth for the club in 15 months and now he hopes to keep his place in a winning squad.

He added: “Saturday was a massive lift for everyone and hopefully we can continue the season in the same vein.”

“I’m delighted that Graham Alexander has given me that opportunity. This is where I want to be playing my football and I know now I’ve just got to keep putting the performances in.

“I wanted to take that chance and getting the goal was great, but the main thing was we took the three points.”

And with Fleetwood now just one place outside the League Two play-offs and two points off an automatic promotion spot, Crowther (left) believes the club is well positioned to mount a late charge.

He said: “We’re back up there on the edge of the play-off places. That’s where we want to be

“We want a promotion push. We’re not settling for anything less.

“That’s the expectation from the chairman, the manager, the players. Promotion is our only target.”

Crowther replaced Junior Brown, who limped out of the action after picking up an injury just before the break.

“Those were big boots to fill,” admitted Crowther.

“He’s a quality player, our top goalscorer, and he puts in quality shifts week in, week out. Unfortunately for him, he got a little knock.

“If you get a chance, you’ve got to take it and hopefully I’ve done that.”

It’s been a long wait for that first League goal for Crowther, who spent two years at Liverpool after his breakthrough with Stockport, and he was only too keen to take advantage of a botched clearance by Us defender Damien Batt.

He added: “I think the lad tried to clear it on the half-volley. The pitch was a bit boggy, and I just managed to nick in and get it past him.

“I’ll take any goal – it doesn’t matter how they come. The important thing is the three points.”