Pressley: One win and Fleetwood are at Wembley

Steven Pressley
Steven Pressley
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Manager Steven Pressley knows Fleetwood Town are one win away from Wembley after a pulsating first leg to their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area Final against Barnsley.

Town grabbed the lead at Oakwell only to be pegged back, the 1-1 draw setting up a firecracker of a second leg at Highbury on February 2.

With no away goals rule, Town need to capitalise on home advantage with a victory but manager Steven Pressley can see the prize in sight.

He said: “It’s one win, one game away from Wembley. That makes it such a terrific game for both sides.

“We’ve given ourselves a real opportunity. I’d imagine with that result we can attract a big crowd at home.”

Antoni Sarcevic cleared off the line and missed a good one-on-one chance in a frantic first half in South Yorkshire.

The frenetic pace continued after the break, with Ash Hunter’s cross turned over his own line by Barnsley keeper Adam Davies to break the deadlock.

Manchester United loanee Ashley Fletcher made an impact on his Tykes debut to level things up, heading home Adam Hammill’s cross to set up a tense return leg.

It was a superb afternoon of cup football, played in front of more than 11,000 fans in testing conditions.

And the Fleetwood boss believed it was more than a match for the weekend’s high-profile encounters in the third round of the FA Cup

“Forget the FA Cup - the JPT is the one to come and see,” said Pressley.

“I thought we were excellent. It was a pulsating game, a brilliant atmosphere in the stadium and a proper cup-tie, with two committed teams. It was a brilliant advert for this competition.

“I was exceptionally proud, as I told the players, of their application and effort. To a man we didn’t leave an ounce on the pitch.”

Having taken the lead, Fleetwood refused to dig in and instead looked to put the tie to bed - Bobby Grant and Amari’i Bell with chances to do just that.

And Pressley insists his side aren’t satisfied just to still be in it.

“You could argue we could be satisfied with a draw away from home,” he said, “but we’re not. Having taken the lead we wanted to win the game.

“But to a man they did the club proud with their performance.

“We had some big counter-attack moments, some big opportunities, but I’ve no complaints at all about the way the team went about their business today. It was a wonderful team performance.”