Fleet and Hartley Wintney made the short trip over to Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium for this season’s Final of the Aldershot Senior Cup. Both sides threw themselves into the game as if they were fresh for the start of the season instead of a tired finish of a long season. After only eight minutes, Dan Williamson chased down a ball that the Hartley defense left assuming it would run out for a goal kick, but Dan got there, controlled the ball and his cross picked out Rob Carr, he chested the ball down in front of him and volleyed home to give Fleet the early lead. The end to end action, soon saw Hartley threaten, when a long throw from Steve Noakes was launched into the six yard box, headed on, the ball just crept an inch outside of the far post. Midway through the half Fleet should have extended their advantage, three super openings within a three minute spell, firstly a run down the left and cross from Danilo Cadete picked out Ben Toye, who shot over.
Then Simba had the ball on the edge of the box, he knocked it back to Chalky to strike from 20 yards, his low shot bobbled wide. Then Chalky got in a cross to Danilo, who also shot over. With Hutchings, Hawker and Harfield keeping Hartley quiet at the back, Fleet were carving out the better chances, next chance was created when Rob Carr chased down another lost cause on the right, reached the ball on the by-line first, crossed and the ball reached Simba standing by the near post, before he could react the ball had gone off him past the post. A free kick on the left for Hartley nearly opened up the Fleet back line, the ball whipped across by Hartley’s no 7, glanced off the Fleet crossbar back into play and was cleared for a throw.
After another Hartley attack was snuffed out, a long clearance from Hutchings reached Simba, he held the ball up, allowing Rob Carr to run past on the overlap, Simba slid the ball through to Rob’s feet , he picked his spot and pushed the ball past the advancing keeper, into the net for his second goal of the game. Within a couple of minutes another Fleet attack, and they win the corner, as this was played into the box, a moment of panic and a shout for Handball and referee Ardilles (for those old enough to remember the name, he is Ossie’s son) points to the spot, without hesitation Rob Carr picks the ball up, places it on the spot and calmly strokes it to his left as the Hatley keeper dives the other way, to complete his hat-trick. Hartley gave themselves some hope when just before half time, they were given a continuous free kick, after a delay with a lot of pushing and shoving, the free kick was whipped across the box and with several players from both sides going for the ball, it was bundled in.
Into the second half and again Fleet were pressing hard, Ben Toye played the ball through to Simba, he checked back to set up Danilo Cadete, his shot was curling home until a leap from keeper Strudley saw him tip the ball over for a corner. Almost as soon as he was introduced Mitch Parker was in the centre of the action, his ball out to Dan Williamson, who drove into the side of the box to cross, the ball ran all the way to Danilo Cadete on the opposite of the box, his cross also eluded any touch and ran back to Dan Williamson to try again, somehow the Hartley goal stayed in tact. With a couple of pairs of fresh legs on Hartley were looking to step up the pace for the final twenty minutes, but before they could influence the action, Fleet had another few minutes where they created chance after chance, a Danilo pass split the Hartley defence for Simba to run through and collect, but was denied when Strudley was able to get close enough to get in the way of Simba’s shot at the expense of another corner. Next up was a strike from Zac Hawker, goalbound until a defensive deflection for a corner, then Dan Wiliamson played a wonderful cross, Simba rose to meet it and get his head there first, but the effort passed over the bar.
After a Hartley corner, where they pushed so many players up, left space which the easy clearance picked up by Rob Carr who took the ball on for 50 yards, before setting up Danilo to shoot, this was blocked but fell to Mitch Parker, whose effort was saved, within seconds the ball was down the other end and the chance taken by Eagle brought the game back to 3-2 with just over ten minutes to go. Any nerves in the Fleet faithful amongst the 355 crown though were settled within a couple of minutes when Man of the match Rob Carr played the ball out wide to Dan Williamson, who cut in and shot home to make it 4-2. Fleet controlled the final minutes without too much drama and were able to bring on James Scott and Archie Fawcett to see the game out, one final incident in the last minute of added time saw Hartley’s Steve Noakes pick up a Red Card for a poor challenge. Then the final whistle with Fleet Town deserved winners, the celebrations commenced.
Fleet Town : 1 Pryce, 2 Williamson, 3 Hutchings, 4 Hawker, 5 Francis, 6 Harfield, 7 Cadete, 8 Ben White, 9 Mlambo, 9 Toye, 11 Carr.
Subs : 12 Fawcett (on for Carr 89 mins), 14 J.Scott (on for Hutchings 88 mins), 15 Mitch Parker (on for Toye 67 mins).
Not used 16 Craig Martin.
Next up will be pre-season friendlies in July. Keep checking the website for details.