Winchester City 3 Fleet Town 0
Although the final score suggests an easy victory for the home side, Fleet pushed them all the way despite being forced into using Stuart Derry in goal, after Harvey White was recalled by QPR, he kept Winchester out for 75 minutes, before conceding three times in the final quarter of an hour.
The early exchanges saw Simba Mlambo and Rob Carr create openings in and around the box for the hosts, while Kofi Halliday and Bradley Wilson did the same for Fleet, but neither side getting any shot away until Joe Cook tried his luck from the edge of the box after fifteen minutes, which flew wide. After 25 minutes, a quick break out by Fleet, saw the ball find Bradley Wilson, but as he slid the ball past Ryan Pryce he was disappointed to hear the shrill blast of the whistle as he was flagged offside. This escape woke up the home side and they piled the pressure on the Fleet goal forcing five corners in quick succession, but Winchester could not find a way past Derry in goal. Winchester had an excellent opening, when the ball was played into the box to Danny King, but he fired his shot wide. After forty minutes Bradley Wilson had the ball in the net, but again, only after he was caught offside. Half time came with the game still goalless, to the delight of the noisy band of Fleet’s travelling fans who had been singing and chanting through the half.
Winchester introduced Joe Hayward for the second half, giving the home side a bit more penetration, an early chance in the half fell to Oli Bailey for the home side, which needed a goal line block to deny him. Fleet’s hard afternoon in the sun was made more difficult after fifty minutes when a clash in front of the home bench saw them reduced to ten men with a Red Card shown to Bradley Wilson. This left Kofi Halliday to plow a lone furrow up front and rising to the challenge he immediately made two openings for himself but both shots were blocked. Winchester made two more changes to try and alter the game in their favour and it was the last of these that made the difference, Tyrell Mitford coming on after 71 minutes. Winchester were given a free kick just outside the Fleet box, trying to be clever they put the ball down and took the kick quickly through to a player in offside position, but as they took the kick a few yards to close to the goal, instead of giving Fleet the advantage of Winchester’s keenness, the referee made Winchester bring the ball back and take the kick again from the correct place. Sub Tyrell Mitford took the kick, round the Fleet wall and despite Stuart Derry getting a touch to the ball in his dive, the ball still flew into the net to put Winchester ahead on 75 minutes. Four minutes later and a speculative effort from Joe Cook from outside the box, through a crowded area, found its way through and nestled in the bottom of the net, to double Winchester’s lead. Another four minutes passed and Winchester struck again through Oli Bailey’s strike from 25 yards out. A couple of minutes later Tyrell Mitford fired another shot in, but this time his effort was tipped over by the leap of Stuart Derry. The final score gave Winchester another valuable three points in their play off push, but results elsewhere leave Fleet further adrift at the bottom of the table and with games fast running out odds on for finishing in a relegation position.
Fleet Town : 1 Stuart Derry, 2 Rylan Myers, 3 Callum Abraham-Barlow, 4 Daniel Framp, 5 Ross Ewen, 6 Cavan Atkinson, 7 Billy Oram, 8 Sam Williams, 9 Kofi Halliday, 10 Jack Selby, 11 Bradley Wilson.
subs : 12 Enow Ojong (on for Ewen 86 mins), 14 Harryson Wickens (on for Oram 77 mins)
not used 15 Matthew Pearse, 16 Kieran Ngale-Kelly.