Fleet Town 1 Cirencester Town 4
With no distraction of Premier League Football on the International break, Fleet Town’s community building ideals and offers attracted a bumper crowd of over 300, including groundhoppers from as far afield as Kendal in Cumbria for this Southern League One South match against the divisions leading goal scorers and play off contenders Cirencester Town.
The visitors started strongly creating the early chances but found Fleet’s defence standing firm, with recent signing James Stroud, who made his debut at Barnstaple last weekend, making his first home start in goal, in action to tip over a shot from Aiden Bennett in the first minute, with Stroud continuing to command his area Fleet were able to deal with the visitor’s threats and clear the danger. Cirencester were stunned after ten minutes when Billy Oram, on his 51st start for Fleet Town was able to convert Fleet’s first dangerous cross of the afternoon, heading the ball home to give the home side the lead. Fleet soon had chances to extend their advantage, as Bradley Wilson floated a shot from wide out on the right onto the roof of the net. The visitors had their chances, Adam Connelly’s shot being deflected for a corner, from which Jack Freeman headed goalward, producing a fine save from James Stroud. After forty minutes a quick break downfield from Fleet, saw hesitation between tow Cirencester defenders and Kofi Halliday burst through between them, but he was driven wide by keeper Mateusz Wieczorek before getting his shot away, which ran wide of the post. Just before the break another cross from Bradley Wilson, floated onto the roof of the net (again).
Cirencester kept everyone waiting for the second half, coming out a few minutes after the home side and match officials, making their plans to change the way the game was going. Within two minutes the visitors were level, a long throw-in was launched deep into the area was turned home by Tommy Anderson. Fleet then created a string of chances, firstly from Kofi Halliday on the left getting round his markers to cross for Bradley Wilson to shoot, his effort deflected for a corner. From a Jack Selby cross from the right, Billy Oram saw his shot saved by Wieczorek, Bradley Wilson hit a cross over the visitors defence for Kofi Halliday, but the ball was just inches out of his reach for what could have been an easy tap in. After soaking up all this pressure, the visitors turned the game in their favour in a decisive five minutes, coming close when a header from a throw-in came back off the crossbar, then Aiden Bennett fired in a wonder goal from the edge of the box. After snuffing out a Fleet attack, the visitors played a long ball downfield, as the ball was coming down over his shoulder, Alan Griffin did not let the ball bounce and his sublime strike flew past Stroud to put the visitors 3-1 ahead. With twenty-two minutes to play, there was time for Fleet to get back into the game but try as they might they could not find a way to beat Wieczorek again. With the game and points already safe by then Cirencester won a Penalty in the final minute which Alan Griffin converted to make the final score a flattering 4-1.
Paul of Easi-leaflets presented his Fleet Town Man of the Match to Bradley Wilson, who was making his 50th start for Fleet Town.
Fleet Town : 1 James Stroud, 2 Ross Ewen, 3 Rylan Myers, 4 Cavan Atkinson, 5 Stuart Derry, 6 Edwin Plackett, 7 Bradley Wilson, 8 Jack Selby, 9 Kofi Halliday, 10 BIlly Oram, 11 Callum Abraham-Barlow.
subs : 14 Lewis Plackett (on for Selby 87 mins), 15 Eoin Kirwan (on for Oram 82 mins), 16 Enow Ojong (on for Myers 68 mins)
not used 12 Daniel Framp, 17 Kieran Ngale-Kelly