Fleetwood Town 2 Gillingham 1: Back-to-back wins move Town out of relegation zone

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Goals from Harrison Biggins and Tom Clarke gave Fleetwood Town a welcome victory against Gillingham at Highbury.


Biggins had sent the Cod Army in a goal to the good at the break before Clarke headed in their second on 65 minutes.

The Gills pulled one back through Robbie McKenzie but Town held on to climb out of League One’s bottom four.

Caretaker boss Stephen Crainey made one change from Fleetwood’s midweek win against Bolton Wanderers, Cian Hayes dropping to the bench to make way for Shayden Morris.

Harrison Biggins scores Fleetwood Town's first goal Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

Harrison Biggins scores Fleetwood Town’s first goal Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

A determined charge forward by Callum Morton allowed Danny Andrew to tease a delightful ball into the box.

Though Ged Garner got a glancing touch on the ball to turn it goalwards, Chapman reacted quickly and dived to his left to save.

That effort aside, the opening half-hour at Highbury was virtually excitement-free, with a tricky shot from Mustapha Carayol on 28 minutes the first time Town keeper Alex Cairns was called upon to do anything of note.

With such incidents few and far between in the opening half, it appeared odds-on that the break would come with the two sides goalless.

Nobody, however, thought to mention that to Biggins, who scored his third goal in two games on 38 minutes.

Paddy Lane’s ball in from the right caught the Gills’ defence on its heels and Biggins timed his run in behind to perfection, finishing from close range with Chapman helpless.

Crainey’s men came close to a second just before half-time but Morton couldn’t turn home a wayward drive along the drenched turf from Andrew.

Andrew tried his luck again a minute into the second half, going for goal with Chapman stranded after a clearance close to the touchline.

Rhys Bennett managed to rescue the visitors at the expense of a corner, which ended with Lane sending a shot down Chapman’s throat.

Frustration mounted in the Gillingham dugout with manager Steve Evans’ histrionics earning him a yellow card from referee Stephen Martin.

His mood was soured further when another Lane cross, from a short corner, was met by Clarke whose thumping header gave Town their second goal.

The visitors set up a nervous ending when McKenzie’s shot into the corner of Cairns’ net halved the deficit 15 minutes from time.

Nevertheless, Fleetwood held on for a vital win – the first time they have won back-to-back games in the league this season – to climb out of the relegation zone.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Johnston, Clarke, McLaughlin, Andrew, Morris (Edmondson 78), Matete, Biggins, Lane, Morton (Johnson 70), Garner (Clark 90). Subs not used: Crellin, Conn-Clarke, Boyle, Hayes.

Gillingham: Chapman, Lintott, Tucker, Bennett, McKenzie, Phillips (Tutonda 77), O’Keefe, Lloyd-McGoldrick (Sithole 87), Lee, Carayol, Akinde. Subs not used: Cumming, Reeves, Akehurst.

Referee: Stephen Martin.