Hat-trick hero Jon Parkin fired Fleetwood Town to victory in a feisty Lancashire derby encounter with Morecambe.
Jamie McGuire, a goal-scorer in Fleetwood’s midweek penalty defeat at Rochdale, was rewarded with a place in the starting eleven at the Globe Arena and almost made the most of his return to the side within ten minutes, heading narrowly wide from Andy Mangan’s cross.
Mangan was a constant thorn in Morecambe’s side and, ten minutes later, provided the decisive ball for Parkin to fire home from a tight angle – his first of the season.
It took the big striker 380 minutes of league football to grab his first Cod Army goal.
Thankfully it wouldn’t be so long before the second, which came five minutes into the second half, Mangan’s corner met with a glancing header at the near post.
Jim Bentley made a double substitution in the hope of reviving Morecambe’s hopes and it almost paid off, Scott Davies and Youl Mawene combining to deny Jordan Burrow as Morecambe pressed.
But the fight back wasn’t to last and, with 15 minutes remaining Parkin put the game beyond doubt, Mangan robbing Nick Fenton inside the Morecambe half, his selfless cross perfectly placed for the former Preston and Cardiff star to tap home his third.
With five minutes to play, Fleetwood rubbed salt into the Morecambe wounds, Parkin this time the provider, showing real skill to control the ball in the right channel, a cross with the outside of the boot finding substitute Barry Nicholson flying in at the back post, his header unstoppable, the goal sending Town fans spilling onto the pitch.
The victory, Fleetwood’s second four goal haul in a week, sends the Cod Army up to fourth in the npower League Two table.
Fleetwood face Northampton Town at Highbury on Saturday.