Rare defensive lapses disappoint Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson was disappointed at the way Fleetwood's normally solid defence was breached twice in 10 minutes to turn Saturday's game at Hull City on its head.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 8:00 am

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Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson left with mixed feelings after excellent first half...

Town were a goal up at half-time away to the League One leaders and frustrated them for an hour until goals by Josh Magennis and Keane Lewis-Potter turned the match around and the Tigers went on to win 2-1.

Grayson's side pride themselves on being tough to score against: only Hull and Sunderland have conceded fewer goals in League One than Fleetwood, who arrived at the KCOM having kept six clean sheets in their last eight games.

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Simon Grayson's defensive strategy frustrated Hull for an hour at the KCOM

The head coach said: “The goals were disappointing from our perspective.

“For the first one, the ball went straight through the middle of our back three, which hadn’t happened to us in the first half or in many games this year.

“That gave them a lift and ultimately they got the winner, which was really disappointing."

Town deployed Janoi Donacien in the back three to counter the threat of Hull's Mallik Wilks and the plan worked well until the hosts got their goals.

Grayson added: "I think JD has done really well at right-back but he's a versatile player and three at the back has worked really well for us since I've been at the club.

"We just felt that Wilks comes in from his right side,comes in strongly onto his left foot, and JD is a good defender one versus one.

"And Danny Andrew gives us the natural width at left wing-back and it was working. Wilks hardly had a kick until the last 20 minutes, when the game was too open and we were chasing an equaliser."

But Grayson maintains the real turning point came when a Kyle Vassell 'goal', which would have doubled his tally for the match and Fleetwood's lead, was ruled out for offside.

The Town boss is convinced the goal should have stood and said: "At 2-0 up, we’ve got a real good record of keeping clean sheets and that would make it very difficult for Hull.

“I don’t know how he’s got the decision wrong. There were a lot of decisions, for both teams, that I thought were really baffling at times.

“It’s hard to take because at 2-0 we’ve got a real good opportunity to win the game.”

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