Ball’s striking out on his own

David Ball  fights for the ball
David Ball fights for the ball
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DAVID Ball is happy to handle the pressure of being Fleetwood Town’s only fit striker.

The 22-year-old scored his fourth goal of the campaign on Saturday, heading home in the second minute to set Fleetwood on course for a 3-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle.

And the former Manchester City youngster is relishing tonight’s Lancashire derby against Accrington Stanley at Highbury.

He said: “There is a little bit of pressure, obviously. I’m the only available player in my position. “But, do you know what? I’m enjoying that.

“It means I’m getting games and now I’m scoring goals as well, which is exactly what I want.

“It’s given me a chance and I’m doing my best to take it.”

Andy Mangan is on the long-term treatment list, while Jon Parkin is a few weeks away from a comeback. Steven Gillespie is closer to a return and could feature at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

But Ball will lead the line again tonight and added: “We’re looking forward to another home game.

“There have been a couple of tough away games, and we got the points at Plymouth so it’ll be good for us to get into Accrington and hopefully get another win.

“It’s a derby game and all the lads are looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be a memorable night.”

Ball wrong-footed Rene Gilmartin in the Plymouth goal following an overhead kick from Barry Nicholson – the goal coming with barely 90 seconds on the clock. I think that’s the quickest goal I have scored,” said Ball, “so I’m happy with that.”

“It was a good start for us and I think we needed it. We needed something to settle us down. First half we weren’t quite up to it. We didn’t pass the ball well but second half we came out and pressed on, and we showed what we were about.”

Midfielder Nicholson is only too aware of the need to support Town’s lone centre-forward.

He said: “We’ve all got to chip in, the midfield and even the defence sometimes, to help Bally out because he’s the only fit striker we’ve got at the moment.

“He’s worked his socks off up there and did really well on Saturday under difficult circumstances.

“I just hope we can get one of the strikers back sooner rather than later.”

Nicholson wasn’t short of praise for his midfield partners ahead of tonight’s clash.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed the last couple of games. It was the same three down at Exeter.

“There’s a lot of experience, with myself and Barry Ferguson. And there’s Jamie McGuire as well with his tremendous energy and ball-winning ability. And he’s second to none for getting into the box.”

Tonight’s derby date with Accrington Stanley represents a major opportunity for the former Preston North End man. Nicholson added: “It’s a local derby and there’s always something special about games under the floodlights.

“Hopefully we can build on Saturday, get another three points and keep this good run going.”

Manager Micky Mellon is also looking forward to the encounter. He said: “It will be another tough match but it should be a good game of football. “They try to play football, just like we do at Fleetwood, so if we get an atmosphere like we did on Saturday it will be a great night. Everybody is looking forward to it.”