Maxwell save can be turning point in season

Fleetwood Town's Chris Maxwell
Fleetwood Town's Chris Maxwell
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Penalty hero Chris Maxwell hopes Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Peterborough can be the turning point for Fleetwood’s season.

A run of six games without a win has dragged the Cod Army into the thick of the League One relegation battle, despite few complaints about the performances of Steven Pressley’s side.

On Tuesday they finally got a win their displays have deserved, as goals from Wes Burns and Eggert Jonsson led to a vital 2-0 win against Peterborough.

But it was a huge penalty stop by Maxwell just before the break which made it all possible.

Not that the keeper was ready to take too much credit, saying: “The lads put a really good shift in. It was a really good team performance.

“I’m pleased to have contributed with the penalty save.

“It was an important save but it’s part of my job.

“People don’t expect goalkeepers to save penalties, so it was nice.”

The result left Fleetwood’s position looking brighter, although a win for Oldham at home to Swindon means they remain just a point ahead of the Latics, who occupy the final drop-zone place and have a game in hand.

But Maxwell hopes the mental boost of a match-needed victory can proved crucial in the final half-dozen games.

He said: “Our performances this season have been really good – we’ve just lacked putting the ball in the back of the net.

“Hopefully this is the turning point for us now.

“The lads realise the situation we are in and I think that showed in the performance on Tuesday night.”

Scoring hasn’t been a problem for Fleetwood loan man Wes Burns, who was again on target in Tuesday’s win at Highbury.

The Bristol City man has now fired five goals in10 Cod Army loan games, catching the eye in the process.

And Maxwell was quick to sing the praises of the 21-year-old forward.

“Wes has been fantastic since he came to the club. He’s been a breath of fresh air and a real good character,” he said.

“I think he’s a real up and coming talent. He’s showed his desire and determination to work hard off the ball, which is really important.”

While Maxwell was keen on playing down his save, his manager was full of praise for the Welshman.

Pressley said: “The save pretty much epitomised Maxwell as a character.

“He loves football and loves this club. I’m absolutely delighted for him.”

“After we’d scored against Peterborough and dominated for such a long period, we then give up a penalty, which I don’t think was a penalty.

“Our goalkeeper makes a wonderful save and I think the save sums up Maxwell as an individual. He is a brilliant character.

“When you are playing so well and when you get your noses in front, it can be a little bit demoralising when you find yourself in a position where you could lose a goal in that manner. But it was a big save from Maxwell.

Jonsson’s second-half strike then wrapped up the win, which took Fleetwood above Blackpool on goal difference.

Town still have a game in hand on their neighbours from down the Fylde coast and manager Pressley feels Maxwell’s penalty stop could be key in keeping his side out of the bottom four.

“That could be the moment we look back on as a pivotal one,” said the boss. “Tuesday was a big game for us and to have conceded at that point would have been a blow.

This weekend Fleetwood make the long trip to Essex to face a Southend side, who were beaten at Blackpool last Saturday.

Then it’s back to Highbury for a crucial six-pointer against Oldham the following weekend.

And with a Fylde coast derby against Blackpool on home turf to be thrown into the mix before the month is out, Pressley believes the battle at the bottom could become increasingly interesting.

“There’s a lot of work to do. A lot of teams now seem to be picking up wins and things are getting very interesting,” he said.

“A number of teams are still in it – and Fleetwood are one of them.”