Trio of goals brings early festive delight

briggs goal by derick thomas
briggs goal by derick thomas

Hayes & Yeading 1 - 3 Fleetwood Town. In what was the final fixture before Christmas, Fleetwood Town gave their fans an early present with a well deserved 3-1 victory over struggling Hayes and Yeading.

Despite some nervy moments in the first half, in which they conceded their early lead, Town showed great professionalism in their win to draw level on points with Conference top side Wrexham.

The first real chance of the game came on nine minutes, as Seddon was released on goal. He then saw his left foot shot is well saved by the United keeper. However, they weren’t to be denied just five minutes later, when Mangan sprayed the ball out wide to Beeley, the full backs cross eventually found Keith Briggs on the edge of the area.

After a great first touch, he then curled an excellent shot into the far top corner, leaving keeper James Beasent helpless.

It was a fantastic way to mark his first goal for the club, and just the start Micky Mellon would have wanted for his team.

The away side continued to press in search for that second goal, as Peter Cavanagh saw his well struck free kick well saved by a busy Beasent.

This was followed by a sharp turn and shot by Seddon on the 20 minute mark, which flew just over the bar.

Hayes & Yeading then began to assert themselves more on the game, and began to get more shots on goal. Most notably of all was Jamie Hand’s 35 yard shot whistling just over the bar.

After this near miss, Fleetwood countered and were controversially denied a penalty with Jamie McGuire seemingly fouled inside the box.

This infuriated manager Micky Mellon, as he and a considerable number of Towns squad disagreed with the decision.

To make matters worse, Hayes & Yeading equalised just five minutes after the challenge, as Louie Soares flicked a long ball on for, Tom Collins who finished neatly inside the area.

This was a turning point of the half, as the home side then began to look the more likely to score, but spurned a number of chances to take a half time lead.

First of all came with Andy Mangan caught in possession in his own area. He was robbed in a dangerous position by John Pierre-Dubois and his shot was deflected inches just wide.

This let off was followed by the Hayes and Yeading’s top scorer Louie Soares firing over from six yards out in what was a packed area. The Cod Army was a tad fortunate to go in level at half time, despite the hugely positive start they had made.

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In response to the shift in balance, Micky Mellon introduced his top scorer Jamie Vardy into proceedings for the second half, in replace of Peter Till. The change seemed to galvanise Fleetwood as Mangan saw a 25-yard shot go just inches wide of the post, with the second half just a minute old.

This was followed by substitute Vardy firing over from inside the area, when well placed after some excellent approach play to get in the position.

Just five minutes later, Fleetwood made another change with Magno Vieira being brought on in exchange for Keith Briggs, with Fleetwood looking to regain their lead.

This meant Town had four recognised strikers on the pitch; with Mangan, Seddon, Vardy and Vieira all looking to regain Fleetwood’s lead.

Despite Fleetwood’s impressive attacking options, it was United who then came closest to taking the lead, as Curtis Ujah saw a fantastic chipped effort glance just over the bar, with Scott Davies back pedalling.

Recovering from this scare, Fleetwood responded in the perfect manner, as Magno Vieira equalised on 74 minutes.

A long Shaun Beeley throw was expertly controlled and volleyed into the top corner, from the substitute.

It was a real moment of Brazilian magic from last season’s top scorer, as he had to swivel his body and score from the tightest of angles, when under immense pressure from United’s defence.

It was no more than Town deserved as they came out the second half a much improved side following Micky Mellon’s half time team talk and substitutes.

It then got from bad to worse for the home side, as they conceded a penalty and saw goalkeeper James Beasant red carded after he brought down Jamie Vardy who looked certain to score. The ball was then handed to Andy Mangan, who showed great composure to send sub goal keeper Delroy Preddie the wrong way and give Fleetwood a two-goal cushion with just ten minutes remaining.

That was the last notable action, as United’s enthusiasm appeared to be extinguished by that goal and sending off. Furthermore, Fleetwood seemed content with their lead, and can now look towards the forthcoming Southport game with real confidence.

Fleetwood: 01 Davies, 02 Beeley, 05 McNulty, 13 Goodall, 26 Cavanagh, 06 Pond (Brown 83), 11 Till (Vardy 46), 15 Briggs (Vieira 56), 18 McGuire, 14 Mangan, 19 Seddon, Substitutes, 12 Brown J, 31 Wilson, 34 Stephenson, 10 Vieira, 33 Vardy. Ref: Andy Davies. Att: 264