Fleet Spot On In Cup Quarter Final
Fleet Town returned to home action after two good away victories to take on step 6 side Midhurst & Easebourne in the Quarter Final of the Aldershot Senior Cup.
The first half was a bit of a midfield battle with very little goalmouth action, a Rowan Sharratt shot over and Shemar Pettet fired wide for Fleet, while the visitors best chance came after a corner but denied by Roux Hardcastle getting across and down to save it on the line. The game remained goalless at half time.
The second half started in the same vain with Roux being the busier of the two keepers but no clear open chances to either side, but after 74 minutes Josh Sheehan cut in from the right side of the box and shot across the keeper from the edge of the six yard box into the far side of the goal to put Midhurst into the lead. Once they had fallen behind Fleet were able to get their attacking head on and play the good football all the fans like to see, with Matty Pearce firing just the wrong side of the post and Ryan Esprit saw his fantastic shot hit the crossbar and fly over. With time running out and thoughts of a loss coming into peoples minds, a rash challenge on the edge of the box three minutes into added time, saw the referee blow his whistle and point to the spot to award Fleet a very late lifeline of a Penalty, Billy Oram ran up and struck the ball into the net to equalise and send the cup tie into extra time.
Extra time seemed to fly by with Midhurst having the best chance, a shot from edge of box was just tipped over the bar by Hardcastle for a corner, from this the ball ran loose and a quick shot was blocked by Dan Bone standing on the line. All too soon the final whistle blew to bring this enthralling cup tie to an end and set up the lottery of a penalty shoot out.
Midhurst started the penalties and the first kick was brilliantly saved by Hardcastle, Fleet’s first penalty was taken by Dan Bone, who scored to make it 1-0 to Fleet after one kick each. Midhurst scored their second kick and Shemar Pettet put his Penalty wide of the goal, so it was level at 1-1 after two kicks each. Midhurst saw their third kick saved by Hardcastle and up stepped Kieran Ngale-Kelly to take Fleet’s third kick and he fired it home to make it 2-1 to Fleet after three kicks each. Hardcastle made another magnificent save from Midhurst’s fourth penalty and Luke Larner came forward for Fleet but his effort was saved, leaving the score still 2-1 to Fleet after four kicks each. Knowing a miss or save would end the shoot out early, Midhurst scored their fifth penalty to add the pressure onto Fleet and forcing them to score to win, in this hero or zero position it fell to Billy Oram, who looked the calmest person in the ground, to take the penalty, Billy struck the ball firmly into the goal to secure a 3-2 penalty win for Fleet to wild celebrations to all the fans packed behind the goal and amongst the rest of the squad.
The Semi Final draw was made by Aldershot FA after the game finished and Fleet Town will be at home to the British Army representative side on a date to be arranged in due course.
Fleet Town : 1 Roux Hardcastle, 2 Luke Larner, 3 Tom Wensley, 4 Kieran Ngale-Kelly, 5 Durell Brown, 6 Khalid Babikir, 7 Rowan Sharratt, 8 Ben Maunders, 9 Mack Vary, 10 Billy Oram, 11 Shemar Pettet.
Subs : 12 Ellis McLean (on for Maunders 104 mins), 13 Neil Sanneh, 15 Ryan Esprit (on for Sharratt), 16 Dan Bone (on for Vary), 17 Maty Pearce (on for Babikir)
Fleet’s next match is at home in the league this Saturday 12th to Redhill.