Evans scores opener for Barton’s Fleetwood in FA Cup tie

Barnet’s hopes of matching their run to the fourth round in last season’s FA Cup were dashed as Ched Evans and Ashley Hunter gave Fleetwood victory at The Hive.

Striker Evans smashed the ball into the roof of the net just before the half-hour after the home defence failed to deal with Lewis Coyle’s right-wing cross.

Conor McAleny should have made it two soon after but keeper Scott Loach got down smartly to save his low side-footed effort.

Barnet, currently 10th in the National League, struggled to seriously threaten the Fleetwood goal and Hunter sealed it for Joey Barton’s League One side with a late second.

The mood among Barnet supporters was upbeat before kick-off following last season’s Cup escapades, which included a magnificent 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

But Fleetwood have recent Cup pedigree of their own, having reached round three in the last two seasons, and had an extra edge in quality which made the difference.

As well as his goal, Evans also forced a good save from Loach with a powerful angled drive just before the break.

The keeper had to be at his best again later in the game to keep out a Paddy Madden effort from Wes Burns’ cut-back, but Loach was given no chance as Evans’ flick put Hunter in on goal again and he made no mistake.

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