MATCH REPORT: Gillingham 3 Fleetwood Town 0

Bonfire Night is approaching but there definitely were no fireworks at the Priesfield Stadium for Fleetwood Town as they failed to dim Gillingham star Tom Eaves' sparkle.

Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 5:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 5:53 pm
Ched Evans in the action for Fleetwood

Before the clash Fleetwood boss Barton had pin-pointed the form of Gills hot-shot Eaves as the opposition's danger man while stressing that his own attack pack where more than capable of getting in the goals.

But like a Catherine Wheel that starts to whirl before failing to take off Fleetwood's attack was soon extinguished as Eaves and company showed them how to light up the pitch.

It was a rare occasion in that Barton could name the same starting line-up from the game before, no changes from the side that beat Blackpool 3-2 last time out.

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Town started brightly but with all eyes on Eaves it was a defensive slip that saw Barton's men a goal behind in the opening 10 minutes.

Town's Mr Consistent Ash Eastham was the man who made that rare error. He dealt with a long ball up to Eaves but then saw his tame back pass to Cairns intercepted by Brandon Hanlan. The Gills man nudged the ball past the Fleetwood keeper before sweeping the ball home.

Eaves made it two just seven minutes later, the forward hitting double figures for the term after rifling home Darren Oldaker's long ball.

It was too simple for the Gills, the crosses flying in to Town's box and a lack of invention up the other end in the final third.

Barton responded, sending Madden on for left-back Husband and switching up formation.

They saw a reaction at the start of the second half Ched Evans hitting the post with a header, Madden, Holt and Hunter all having chances with Town creating more in the opening 10 minutes than the whole of the first 45.

But they lacked a clinical touch and Eaves showed them how to finish up the other end. The forward latching on to a Connor Ogilvie cross and nodding in his second.

That third goal was crucial, no way back for Barton's side after that effort. Fleetwood are yet to find a way back after conceding first, this now the fifth time they have tasted defeat after going behind first.

With the clock ticking down Barton made changes throwing on Long and Dempsey.

But after 1-0 defeats at Peterborough and Portsmouth Fleetwood once again failed to fire on the road.

Though Madden did his best to solve that, the woodwork thwarting the Irishman as a piece of individual brilliance saw his effort clip the top of the bar.

Their away form the highlight of Barton's start to life in management but after finding that winning feeling at Highbury Town made it three defeats on the spin away from home.

Fleetwood: Cairns, Coyle, Eastham, Morgan, Husband (Madden, 33), Sheron, Holt (Dempsey, 69), Wallace, Burns (Long, 67), Evans, Hunter. Subs not used: Jones, Bolger, Jones, Biggins.

Gillingham: Holy, O'Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Hanlan (List, 69), Eaves, Charles-Cook (Parrett, 76) Fuller, Bingham (Ogilvie, 46), Oldaker, Byrne. Subs: Hadler, Lacey, Nasseri Mbo.