Target man More than a handful

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JON Parkin goals, to use a very tired analogy, are like buses.

You wait two months for one, then three turn up at once.

The former Preston and Cardiff man finally opened his Fleetwood Town account on Saturday in the Cod Army’s 4-0 victory at Morecambe.

Woodwork and wayward shooting, Parkin was the league’s leader in shots off target coming into the Morecambe Bay derby, had denied the big stiker a chance to get off the mark, something he addressed within 20 minutes of the Globe Arena encounter, tapping home from Andy Mangan’s cross.

Parkin insisted the victory was far more important than getting his own goal tally up and running.

He said: “It’s nice to get off the mark but the most important thing is the three points.

“To be fair we’ve played well most games, except maybe Bradford.

“Torquay at home, the first game, we deserved to win so maybe we should be two points better off than we are.”

Fleetwood kept their third clean sheet in five league fixtures, a record which inspires confidence in the club’s target man up front.

Parkin said: “If the lads at the back keep clean sheets we believe we’ve got enough to score against anybody.”

And the summer capture, who last season was on the books at Championship side Cardiff City, believes Fleetwood, sitting fourth following their win at Morecambe, have everything it takes to compete in League Two

He said: “It’s great here. They are a great set of lads, the gaffer has got a good team together and if we keep playing like that we should be doing alright.

“I think it’s a physical league, you’re going to need everything you’ve got in reserve.

“We’ve got probably 23 lads who can come in a do a job and that’s the kind of strength in depth you need.”

Parkin and Mangan combined twice in the second half to put Fleetwood three goals up before the hat-trick hero turned provider, setting up Barry Nicholson’s bullet header at the back post. He joked: “To be fair, Barry tried heading one which should have put in before that but, given that he scored I’ll let him off.”

Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon was, unsurprisingly, delighted with the result.

He said: “You have to be pleased to come to somewhere as difficult as Morecambe and get a result.

“We knew we had to do everything right today because we have a lot of respect for Morecambe as a football club.

“We knew we would have to be very very good and we’re delighted to come up to such a tough place and get a result.

“Most things went for us. Everything we tried to do went for us. It was one of those days that you get. There were some fantastic performances out there.

“We did everything right not only with the ball but without posession and we controlled possession for most of the game.”

Mellon reserved special praise for hat-trick scorer Parkin. He said: “We know that Jon is such a big player for us.

“He adds far more for us than just goals.

“He takes the bumps, the knocks, and the bruises up there in order for the rest of us to catch up and play in good areas

“He’s got a deserved hat-trick and we’re delighted. We worked so hard to get him in, we knew we’d have to have a physical presence in that final third and Jon gave us that.”