MICKY Mellon’s makeshift defence wobbled but didn’t crumble as the Cod Army claimed a point on the road at Cheltenham Town.
Fleetwood were already missing Dean Howell ahead of kick off and skipper Steve McNulty added to Mellon’s woes a quarter of an hour in at Waddon Road, an injury forcing his replacement and a major re-organisation at the back for Fleetwood.
Mellon said: “It was difficult losing Steve McNulty
“We tried to minimise the impact because you don’t want to mess around with your back four.
“We have a back four who are used to playing together with the goalkeeper.
“But we had to make that chance and Conor (McLaughlin)came on and showed us what a very talented player he is.
“He went across to left-back.
“We considered putting Junior (Brown) there but we just thought we’d lose that threat going forward and thankfully we didn’t do that because he got us the first goal by getting the ball high up the pitch.
“We’re pleased with the point and we think we’ve deserved that even though, having been 1-0 up at half-time, we’re disappointed not to have got all three.
“They were direct and we knew we had to fight.
“Losing the height of McNulty we struggled a bit at times.
Fleetwood conceded two second half goals, both from set pieces before Junior Brown grabbed a vital equaliser, his fifth goal of the season, two minutes into injury time.
Mellon said: “Picking up points anywhere in the Football League is very good so we’ll continue trying to pick up as many as possible, starting with the two homes games coming up.
“I’m disappointed we’ve given away two goals from set plays and I’ve spoken to the players in the past to make sure they get that right.
“We just didn’t do that today.
“We know we’ve got good quality from the bench, they made a big impact today and that’s what we want from them.
“They’ll keep battling right to the end.
“We’re pleased to see the goal go in and we’ll fight for the fans right to the end to make sure they can go home happy and I think we’ve done that today.
The Fleetwood boss admitted the Cheltenham encounter had been short on attractive football – made up for in grit and determination from both sides.
He said:“It was all about both 18 yard boxes
“There wasn’t an awful lot of football played between the two.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game
“We’d seen the DVDs of Cheltenham and knew what to expect, that they are a threat and have big players all over the pitch.”