Town more than holding their own

Liam McAlinden
Liam McAlinden

Graham Alexander insists his Fleetwood team are more than holding their own in League One despite a fourth consecutive away defeat.

Town have won just one of their last 10 games after Gavin Massey’s brace consigned them to a 2-1 defeat at Colchester, who had not won at home all season.

Fleetwood had led through a lob by on-loan Wolves striker Liam McAlinden, his first goal for Town on his full debut.

Alexander’s men led League One at the start of last month but have now fallen to 12th, though the manager believes Saturday’s result does not tell the whole story.

He said: “I think we’re doing better than finding our feet as a team.

“But we are getting punished for the slightest mistakes and for loss of concentration. I can’t remember Chris Maxwell having to make a save apart from the two goals.

“And we’re not getting decisions at the moment.”

“It’s a disappointing result after we were a goal up. At 1-0 it looked like we had control of the game.

“It was a fantastic finish from Liam McAlinden and after that we weren’t in any danger. Then there’s a crossfield pass and it’s given them a lifeline.”

The Town boss was concerned by the defending for the Us’ winner, Massey left with time and space to shoot from the edge of the box.

Alexander added: “With most goals you concede there’s something you could have done.

“It’s a great finish but he should have had more pressure on him, even before he got the ball.

“That’s something we’ll look at but we’ve had chances too in the second half. We’re just not taking them.”

Before Colchester pulled themselves level Town had a penalty claim dismissed by referee Graham Scott after McAlinden tumbled in the box.

Alexander was, once again, left to question a key decision on the road.

He said: “There’s a stonewall penalty. “I knew it at the time, all the players knew.

“I’ve watched it again and it’s clear, the foul on Liam. He’s got across him and pulled him back right level with the linesman.

“It’s not given, again – it’s well-documented our history with officials away from home. If the referee does his job and gives the penalty, or the linesman sees it at least, it’s a different story.

“We get that, it’s 2-0 before half-time.”

Town host Doncaster Rovers next week and Alexander will be hoping to be boosted by the return of a number of key troops.

He said: “We lost Conor McLaughlin to internationals, Nathan Pond hasn’t trained all week, Stephen Dobbie hasn’t trained all week. We had to pick a team to come away and give a solid performance and try and win the game.

“Up to the 40th minute I thought we were doing that.

“They had a lot of possession in their final third but we let them have that.

“Goals change games and we’ve certainly seen that.”