IF team spirit and fervent fans win titles, Alan Goodall reckons the Conference crown is as good as in the bag for Fleetwood Town.
Back in the side for Friday night’s visit to Kidderminster, defender Goodall helped Town complete a Blue Square Bet Premier double over the Harriers, with a 2-0 win.
And although Wrexham, who have a game in hand, again cut Town’s lead to five points by beating Barrow 2-0 on Saturday, 30-year-old Goodall says Fleetwood remain in the driving seat.
And the full-back from the Wirral spelled out a couple of factors in their favour.
Goodall said: “On and off the pitch the lads are unbelievable. I don’t think I’ve ever been at a club where the lads were so close.
“It’s also brilliant that so many fans made the effort to travel down on a Friday night after working all day.
“There are nine games to go and they are all really tough. We have to concentrate on every one, and hopefully we’ll take the trophy home.”
Goodall was delighted to be back in the side for the trip to Aggborough.
A summer signing after being released by Stockport, Goodall has established himself as Micky Mellon’s first-choice left-back in recent months, though Junior Brown had been preferred for the 2-1 midweek win over Grimsby.
Goodall added: “I’m delighted to be back in and it was a good, tough game.
“We were overrun a bit in the first half, but we sorted ourselves out and were miles better in the second.
“Give Kidderminster credit, they were on top of us in the first half, but we dug in and, once we settled down, we deserved the win.”
Assistant manager Craig Madden was pleased with Goodall and his fellow defencers.
Mellon’s No.2 explained: “The defence will be happy with their performance. Goody was disappointed to be left out the other day, but Junior did well on Tuesday.
“We rode our luck first half at Kidderminster, but overall they didn’t cause us too many problems.”
Victory was sealed courtesy of two goals in eight second-half minutes – a 17th of the season by Andy Mangan and one credited to Richard Brodie.
Madden was among those who felt Town’s second was an own goal, but Brodie is determined to keep it.
He said: “With the luck I’ve had recently, I think I deserve that one. I swung my foot towards goal, and I think it hit a defender in the face before going in.
“The pitch wasn’t ideal to play football on. We weren’t great in the first half, but we came back to win it in the second, as good teams do.”
Like Goodall, Brodie was pleased to be back in the starting line-up, though a player familiar with suspension this season was disappointed to pick up another booking.
Brodie added: “I never even got a warning from the referee but I’ve ended up being booked for kicking the ball away.
“Maybe it was a little bit naive of me, but I seem to be getting a few cards for petulant things that other players maybe get away with. “I’d like to have played the full 90, but I understand the manager’s decision to take me off and protect the lead.
“I won the league with Crawley last year, when we won games in a similar fashion to Friday’s.
“At times like this, you grind victories out and these are often the games that can win you titles. “We have another hard game on Tuesday, but we all can’t wait because confidence is sky-high.”
Tomorrow’s match (7.45pm), a rearranged visit to Mansfield, is Town’s fourth in 11 days. Wrexham head to Ebbsfleet United tomorrow.