Magician Mangan’s masterpiece

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FLEETWOOD Town striker Andy Mangan says his comeback goal against Gateshead on Saturday was one of the best of his career ... but the claim shocked manager Micky Mellon.

The Town boss joked: “Andy would have you believe he’s scored loads like that!”

Mangan came off the bench on Saturday after missing the previous five matches with hamstring trouble and galvanised the team, then set Town on the way to a 3-1 win with a long-range strike.

Mangan, who had turned 25 ten days earlier, said: “It was definitely up there with the best and an important goals I’ve scored in a tight game. It settled us down and we went on to win.

“I had the ball from the halfway line and they dropped off. You’re told when that happens to have a shot and that’s what I did. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t.’

“We changed our formation and came back into the game towards the end of the first half, then kicked on in the second.”

Joking aside, Mellon was delighted to have the former Wrexham frontman back, adding: “He’s a great lad of great ability and we have high hopes for him.

“He should probably be playing at a higher level. For one reason or another he isn’t and we’re delighted to have him.”

Mangan’s patience was rewarded after suffering the injury in Town’s opening home game of the season. “I felt quite fit after the lay-off and was happy with my performance,” he said before diverting praise to his two-goal team-mate Jamie Vardy.

“Jamie’s work-rate is immense and he’s a great team player, which is just what we need,” added Mangan.

“It was a good result for us but we’re not going to get too carried away after successive wins. We’re not looking further than Ebbsfleet on Saturday. I’ve played there several times, and we know we’ll need to battle and keep our composure in front of goal.”

A second successive week with no midweek match is a welcome boost for Mellon as the injury gloom which hung over the club at the start of the campaign gradually lifts.

The manager said: It’s great to have another blank week because you can get a lot of work done. We’ll get a lot of sessions under our belts and a lot of work on shape. We’re getting lads back and we’re motoring.”

*BERYL Laycock had the honour of becoming Fleetwood Town’s oldest mascot at Saturday’s match against Gateshead.

Beryl, who turned 70 yesterday, is the mother-in-law of Town football secretary and reserve team manager Steve Edwards.

Nathan Pond is the favourite player of lifelong football fan Beryl, who was introduced to several of the ‘Busby Babes’ when she lived in Stalybridge.