Fleet Town 2 British Army XI 0
Fleet Town welcomed a British Army squad drawn from several regiments brought together from bases spread across the country for this semi-final of the Aldershot Senior Cup. The Army U23 squad came into the game on the back of eight unbeaten matches with some of them also involved in Army first team squads in inter services games this season.
An even start to the game saw the ball spend a lot of time in midfield, the first opening came after 15 minutes when Billy Oram ran through and brought a fine save from the Army keeper Sam Coppard. From an Army corner the ball found its way to Danny Constable who had the space to pick his spot but only managed to shoot wide of the goal. With the Army side looking more dangerous Callum Vincent ran into space on the left to lift the ball into the box, but it floated close to Roux Hardcastle in the Fleet goal, who calmly collected the ball and cleared it upfield. Soon the Army were back on the attack with Jaime Turner but he only managed to hit the ball straight into the waiting arms of Hardcastle. Just before half time Fleet built an attack down the left and Mack Vary drove towards the box with a defender close on his heals, who nicked the ball off Vary, as keeper Coppard was closing them down, then both the defender and keeper stopped to leave the ball to each other, in that short hesitation Mack Vary took the ball back and ran across the area and with all the control that a seasoned professional would be proud of, stayed away from the keeper as he tried to recover and slid the ball into the empty net to put Fleet ahead on 44 minutes.
The second half started with the Army side looking to get back into the game quickly, Jason Barnes ran through and got his shot away, forcing Roux Hardcastle to go down and make the save. A move down the left saw Constable set up Turner with a good opening but his effort was deflected by the Fleet defence for a corner, which came to nothing. The Army soon had another chance, this time through Scott Urwin, who brought out a fantastic save from Hardcastle, his leap was able to tip the ball over for another Army corner. A save soon matched by Coppard at the other end when Billy Oram’s cross from the right reached Elliot Amadieu who forced Coppard to tip the ball over for a corner to Fleet. As the Army pressed they kept finding Dan Bone in their way, blocking the passes or jumping high to head clear. The decisive moment came on 84 minutes when Fleet sub, Matty Pearce cut in from the right and ran into the box, as Coppard tried to close Matty down, the left half of the goal unguarded, Matty guided the ball the other way, in the narrow opening past the falling keeper inside the right hand post to double Fleet’s lead. The Army mustered one late chance when two of their substitutes Harry Beckley and Bryant Polius combined around and inside the box but the final effort flew over.
The win sets up a game against Hartley Wintney in the Final, to be played at Aldershot Town’s ground on May 17th
Before that Fleet Town will finally get to travel to Jersey for the last league game of the season away to Jersey Bulls this Saturday 30th April and (at least) a game in May in the Southern Combination Cup to be arranged once our opponents quarter final is played (or two games if Fleet Town win that and reach the final due to be played on May 14th)
Fleet Town : 1 Roux Hardcastle, 2 Ellis McLean, 3 James Dinsdale, 4 Dan Bone, 5 Khalid Babikir, 6 Tom Wensley, 7 Rowen Sharratt, 8 Ryan Esprit, 9 Elliot Amadieu, 10 Billy Oram, 11 Mack Vary.
Subs : 12 Luke Larner (on for McLean 87 mins), 13 Neil Sannah, 14 Ben Maunders (on for Espirit 64 mins), 15 Matty Pearce (on for Vary 79 mins), 16 Dan Framp.