Barnet 0 Fleetwood Town 2: Ched Evans and Ash Hunter seal FA Cup victory

Fleetwood Twon celebrate as Ash Hunter (left) wraps up victory with their second goal at Barnet
Fleetwood Twon celebrate as Ash Hunter (left) wraps up victory with their second goal at Barnet
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Fleetwood Town avoided a potential banana skin to secure their spot in the second round of the FA Cup.

READ MORE: Fleetwood postpone Portsmouth match due to international call-ups
Ched Evans’ fifth goal of the season separated the two sides for the large majority of the game before Ash Hunter slotted home at the death.

Boss Joey Barton was all smiles at full-time as his side bounced back from successive away defeats in League One to prevail over the National League outfit in north London.

The Bees were last year’s FA Cup sweethearts, memorably knocking out Sheffield United en route to the fourth round.

But the Cod Army made certain they avoided a shock in the capital.

The game lacked real quality due to a bobbly playing surface at The Hive.

Both sides observed a minute’s silence on Remembrance Sunday before kick-off on a big day for young Fleetwood keeper Billy Crellin.

Crellin, who recently signed a new contract, has again been called up by England Under-20s for the forthcoming internationals against Portugal and Iceland.

And he completed a fine week with a clean sheet on only his second senior Town appearance.

His only previous first-team game was 13 months ago against Rochdale in the EFL Trophy, though he has had a loan spell at National League Chorley this season.

Conor McAleny came in for his first start since August, while Ashley Eastham made his first appearance since September.

Centre-half Eastham nodded an early corner over for the visitors.

Crellin had a shaky start, his first clearance resulting in Mauro Vilhete’s shot being deflected wide.

McAleny looked dangerous on the left, dazzling past Barnet defenders with ease

The hosts prospered down the left but Jack Taylor could only head Elliott Johnson’s cross over.

The Cod Army turned defence into attack in a blink of an eye, with McAleny nodding one effort well off-target.

Evans broke the deadlock in the 29th minute. The hosts failed to deal with Lewie Coyle’s cross and the Welshman fired into the roof of the net.

It should have been two moments later as Fleetwood broke with pace but McAleny's effort was well kept out by the sprawling Scott Loach.

The Bees worked the ball into the box well, with defender James Dunne blasting high and wide.

Evans almost doubled his tally with a rasping effort which was tipped over by Loach.

The second half started slow as both sides struggled to make an impact.

On the hour Barton threw on prolific marksman Paddy Madden to try to put the cup-tie to bed, though left-back Danny Andrew’s speculative free-kick was easily held by Loach.

Home substitute Ephron Mason-Clark did well to skip past two Fleetwood players before smashing his effort off-target.

The hosts huffed and puffed but Fleetwood controlled the tempo of the game to keep them at bay.

Substitute Hunter nearly killed the game off when he forced Loach into a good diving stop with his powerful strike.

Fleetwood had chances to extend their lead towards the end and with eight minutes left Harry Souttar almost signed off with a goal before again linking up with Australia. However, he saw his header cleared off the line.

The resulting corner fell to Jordan Rossiter, who blasted over from just outside the box.

Eleven-goal top scorer Madden stung the fists of Loach with his powerful drive from the edge of the box late on.

The visitors wrapped up the win in the 90th minute, when Hunter slotted into the far corner.

Fleetwood: Crellin, Coyle, Eastham, Souttar, Andrew, Coutts, Rossiter, Dempsey (Hunter 69), Morris (Burns 76), McAleny (Madden 62), Evans; subs not used: Cairns, Dunne, Southam-Hales, Biggins.

Barnet: Loach, Alexander, Sweeney, Reynolds, Johnson, Dunne (Chime 81), Taylor, Da Silva Vilhete, Taylor, Tutonda (Mason-Clark 57), Walker; subs not used: Adams, Akinola, Boucaud, Elito, Azaze

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 1,180 (128 away)