Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said the club’s fans made their first win over Blackpool extra-special.
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Blackpool supporters have been boycotting matches because of the off-field issues surrounding the club’s ownership and the Oyston family, though more than 900 made the trip to Highbury for Saturday’s derby.
Though with a new flag in the Memorial Stand, flares and the constant drumming of Fleetwood fan George McLaughlin, the home fans helped roar Town to a 3-2 victory.
Town’s chairman admitted the fans’ backing was as good as he has seen and he paid tribute to them for their support on the day.
Pilley said: “It was fantastic for everyone associated with the club, especially for the supporters.
“Blackpool are our local rivals and we have not managed to beat them before, so there was a feelgood factor around the town and around north Fylde.
“I think the fans made the day extra-special. I think the support that they gave us was as good as I have ever seen it and you could tell how much it meant to them.
“They are a huge part of the club. We were proud of them and I’m sure they were proud of the team.”
Town raced into a 2-0 lead in 11 minutes through Wes Burns and Ross Wallace, though it was Paddy Madden who scored the winner, minutes after coming off the bench, as Jordan Thompson and Nathan Delfouneso pulled goals back for Blackpool.
Pilley admitted a win over Blackpool would have been considered unlikely when he took over Town in 2003, with the club in the North West Counties League.
However, he did praise Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips and his players for the way they have focused on their football despite the club’s off-field issues.
He added: “We knew we were in for a very tough game because they have done so well in the face of adversity. They created a siege-like mentality. There are well documented issues off the pitch but the players – and every credit to their manager – have done so well.
“We knew it would be difficult. I thought our lads were outstanding. We were so quick out of the traps.
“I don’t know what Joey (Barton, manager) said to them before the game but it clearly worked. We set about them from the first whistle.”
n Town’s Under-18 side face Carlisle at Highbury in the first round of the FA Youth Cup tomorrow (7pm).