Player ratings: Oxford United 0 Fleetwood Town 2

Ched Evans, Kyle Dempsey and Jason Holt celebrate Fleetwood's first goal at Oxford
Ched Evans, Kyle Dempsey and Jason Holt celebrate Fleetwood's first goal at Oxford
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The Gazette's Fleetwood Town reporter Rosie Swarbrick analyses the performances of the players from the 2-0 win at Oxford United.

Joey Barton's celebrated his first league win as Fleetwood Town boss thanks to a 34th minute Ched Evans strike and 89th minute Paddy Madden penalty.

Our reporter was at the Kassam Stadium for the clash and here are Swarbrick's marks out of 10 from the game

Alex Cairns - 7.5

His save to thwart Sam Smith one-on-one when the game was still on a knife edge at 0-0 kept Town in it. A great stop that proves why Barton has dubbed him the best in the division.

Gethin Jones - 7

A really solid performance in his preferred right back slot. We've often seen him utlised at left-back but given a chance on the right he took it. Comfortable performance and brought something attacking wise too a couple of neat balls up the wing to the pacy front line. One of those played a part in winning the penalty.

Craig Morgan- 6.5

Still easing his way back from that lengthy injury out for Wigan. Only his second start since the summer of 2017 and it shows. A few lapses of concentration and big error that should have been punished by Smith. Thumbs up to Cairns afterwards said it all.

Ash Eastham - 7

Back in the side and proved just why he should not have been left out on the opening day. The king of the 7 out of 10 Mr consistent is back with a bang. Also kudos for that finish that was ruled out for a foul on the keeper, he has been working on that!

Lewie Coyle - 6.5

Switched over to left back, a move we have only ever seen at Peterborough away as Barton tries to plug that problematic spot. Coyle solid, struggled early doors under pressure from Ricky Holmes, a man Town always tend to struggle against but grew into the game and solid considering he was out of position.

Dean Marney - 7

Like Morgan he is still easing his way back from injury but it looks like he has never been away. Slipped into the midfield seamlessly and brought a new steel to the midfield. A few loose passes and a glimpse of what he can do to link the middle and attack too. More to come but a promising start.

Jason Holt - 7.5

Showed how much of a miss he was on the opening day against AFC Wimbledon. A key figure in Town's unbeaten pre-season he helped link the defence and attack and along with Marney allowed Fleetwood to look more comfortable. Aside from that Mackie chance they never looked like conceding in the second 45. The midfield duo instrumental in that.

Kyle Dempsey - 7.5 (star man)

The star man. With Marney and Holt in the side Dempsey has been given a license to attack. It was his grit and determination that lead to the opening goal. He started the move then picked it back up off Grant, bulldozed a couple of yellow shirts and teed-up Evans. Popped up with a few headers, clearly been working on that and should have had his own goal to show for it but fluffed his lines one-on-one. That the only blot on a performance we expected after his pre-season.

Bobby Grant - 6.5

A workhorse performance from Grant once again, gave Town an outlet on the wing and worked tirelessly for the cause. Good link-up with Dempsey and Holt for the first goal too. Town should be getting more chances from his set-pieces, some a tad over hit from the left-footer.

Ash Hunter - 7

He might not be hogging the headlines but this is a new Ash Hunter this season. Sometimes critiqued for his selfish play this was a thoroughly team performance by the forward, his interplay with the other attackers sublime and ball up to Burns for the penalty delightful. He should have had an assist too but Dempsey just could not put the icing on the cake of a sublime counter with the finish.

Ched Evans - 7

Showed just why he is in the starting line-up. Robinson left claiming for a foul in the build up to his goal after McMahon tumbled to let him steal in and tap home Dempsey's cross. On a plate but took that chance. At times left up on his own when Town defending and switched to 4-5-1 but an industrious performance.


Wes Burns on for Grant 63 - 7

Perhaps unlucky to be out of the side but did not let that affect his performance. Made an impact off the bench with his pace and fresh legs. Good link-up with Hunter and then drew the foul from Shearer. Would have been good to have seen him take the penalty to boost his confidence further.

Paddy Madden on for Evans 79 - 7

Was that penalty ever in doubt? As soon as he got hold of the ball you knew it would be 2-0. Cool calm and collected and reacting the right way to not being in the line-up by making an impact from the bench.

Nathan Sheron on for Marney 67 - 6.5

A proud day for the football club. Sheron became the first player from the club's academy to feature for the first team in the league. On the bench due to the home grown rule and showed he can swim after thrown in at the deep end. Not perfect and a few loose passes but a big learning curve and something to build on. The future is bright for this development squad centre-half turned first team midfielder.