Gloucester City were defeated, but not disgraced, as they took League Two leaders Fleetwood Town to the limit in a pulsating FA Cup First Round tie.\r\n\r\n46 shots in total for both sides, but only two mattered as a deflected effort from David Ball and a game-killer from Jon Parkin late on sealed the win, although City more than matched their opponents despite the 66 league places that separate the two, writes Simon Clark.\r\n\r\nSteven Schumacher missed a penalty midway through the first-half which gave Dave Mehew’s battling troops the opportunity to test the Lancashire club with Jordan Goddard and Darren Edwards’ both having brilliant opportunities to equalise.\r\n\r\nBut, it wasn’t meant to be as City’s marvellous FA Cup run came up short in the First Round for a second year running; but with Mehew’s men playing expansive football against a top League Two side, it gives food for thought for what promises to be a tough league campaign.\r\n\r\nThe game started at a breathless pace with Fleetwood’s Gareth Evans immediately stamping his mark on the game with three opportunities in the opening five minutes.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers roared into action on seven minutes but Matt Liddiard scuffed his shot after Tyler Weir had whizzed a teasing cross in the Cod Army’s area.\r\n\r\nThe breakthrough was made for the League Two leaders on 11 minutes with Ball shooting from outside the area and deflecting past Mike Green to stun the home fans.\r\n\r\nThe goal saw the Lancashire attack forward with the wind in their sails with Antoni Sarcevic and Ball both having glimpses, before a rash tackle from full-back Mike Green brought down Jeff Hughes for a penalty.\r\n\r\nSchumacher, who was lucky to be on the pitch after a scuffle with Tom Webb, stepped up and slammed his penalty against the post with keeper Green getting the slightest touch.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers were rejuvenated as Darren Mullings and Tyler Weir both had effort saved by Davies, following an immense melee that could’ve resulted in a City spotkick; but saw the Cod Army just manage to clear their lines.\r\n\r\nThe second half proved to be a different proposition; the Tigers were rampant as they looked for a second half equaliser.\r\n\r\nTwo quickfire chances for the dangerous Evans quickly evaporated before City bombarded the Cod Army with Goddard smashing over in the box after neat work from Edwards and Weir.\r\n\r\n18-year-old Joe Parker came on and looked sharp as he played in Edwards soon after his introduction but the talismanic striker couldn’t convert.\r\n\r\nHowever, with City piling forward they were prone to the counter, which Sarcevic should’ve taken advantage of but the big midfielder missed from two yards out at the back post.\r\n\r\nThe Tigers continued to hunt down a leveller and after superb team play the ball found Edwards free on the edge of the penalty area, but his strong effort was impeccably stopped by Davies, yet again.\r\n\r\nOnly 10 minutes remained so Mehew decided to replace Green with Will Morford, and it immediately almost reaped dividends but Davies rushed out towards Edwards as the City striker had latched onto a back pass.\r\n\r\nThe frenetic end-to-end action continued and Evans was denied point blank by Green.\r\n\r\nWith City pushing forward, inevitable gaps began to appear and Parkin out-muscled his way through the City defence after a ball from deep, skipped past the out coming Green and knocked home to effectively kill the game in the 84th minute.\r\n\r\nBut, City were brilliant and deservedly soaked up the plaudits from the home fans after a sterling performance.\r\n\r\nGloucester City: M. Green, M. Green (Morford 80), T. Weir, M. Coupe, J. Harris, T. Webb, J. Goddard, D. Mullings, D. Edwards, S. Wilson (Groves 67), M. Liddiard (Parker 53)\r\n\r\nSubs not used: N. Phillips, S. Rawlings, S. Turl, R. Batten,\r\n\r\nFleetwood Town:  S. Davies, S. Murdoch, M. Roberts, N. Pond, G. Evans (Brown 86), S. Schumacher, J. Hughes, A. Sarcevic (Parkin 65), C. Taylor, C. McLaughlin, D. Ball (Blair 86)\r\n\r\nSubs not used: A. Goodall, R. Crowther, E. Dieseruvwe, D. Lucas\r\n\r\nGoals: Ball 11, Parkin 84\r\n\r\nAttendance: 1,183

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