Fleet Town 0 Balham 2

Before the game there was a minutes applause for long term supporter Geoff Belcher who passed away this month.

When it came to the football, there was the sense this would not be Fleet’s afternoon when the first challenge of the match brought out a Red Card for James Dinsdale, leaving Fleet to survive 89 minutes with only ten players. Despite this handicap the early action was competitive but both sides forced to shoot from distance Dan David shooting over the bar for Balham and Billy Oram’s effort for Fleet flying wide of the post. Following a scramble in the box Fleet’s keeper Neil Sanneh (on debut) would consider himself unlucky to see Cameron Gordon touch the ball past him to give the visitors the lead. Fleet’s best chance of the first half fell to James Beauchamp his effort just being pushed round the post for a corner. Laurie Goddard came very close to extending Balham’s lead when his shot from distance only passed inches wide of the post with the last kick of the half.

The second half saw Balham continue on the front foot, but the Fleet defence was standing firm but the side struggled to maintain possession and many clearances only falling to the visitors to start another attack, Alec Giddes and Dan David had good chances to extend the visitors advantage but their efforts flew wide. Despite this, it was a surprise when a cross from the right wing reached Kojo Kyei on the far side of the box, who struck the ball low past Sanneh to make it 2-0 to Balham on 69 minutes.

As Fleet introduced some subs into the game, their fresh legs gave some hope of a way back into the game, a long ball forward was collected by James Beauchamp on halfway as he ran goalward he was chased down by Erick Arias and brought down giving the referee the easy job of levelling up the numbers for the final nine minutes by showing him a Red Card. The resultant free kick, taken by Billy Oram came to nothing and Fleet could not find that small consultation from this game as the time ebbed away Balham made two changes in the added minutes, before the final whistle blew.

Next up for Fleet Town is a home game against Midhurst and Easebourne on Tuesday night (7.45pm KO)

Fleet Town : 1 Neil Sanneh, 2 Khalid Babikir, 3 James Dinsdale, 4 Durell Brown, 5 Stuart Derry, 6 Tom Wensley, 7 Rowan Sharratt, 8 Kieran Ngale-Kelly, 9 James Beauchamp, 10 Billy Oram, 11 Mack Vary.

Subs : 12 Alfie Neville (on for Khalid Babikir 80 mins), 13 Roux Hardcastle, 14 Ben Maunders (on for Vary half-time), 15 Ralph Karumazondo (on for Ngale-Kelly 80 mins), 16 Ellis McLean (on for Sharratt 70 mins).