Paulton Rovers 4 Fleet Town 1

A younger than usual Fleet Town squad, with several of the under 18 squad replacing unavailable regulars, made the early running at Paulton, the first opening and half chance fell to Bradley Wilson, but his effort got blocked and cleared. It was then debutant  Eoin Kirwan who burst through and was unlucky to see his fierce shot strike the crossbar and bounce over. After eleven minutes the home side won a corner, which was played deep towards the far post where Charlie Hitchings was waiting and he bundled the ball in to put Paulton ahead. Ten minutes later Paulton doubled their lead when Sam Jordan rose to head home a free kick. Despite these setbacks, Fleet kept going in the style they have played all season, Enow Ojong collected the ball on halfway and used his pace to power up the left to the box before firing a shot across the goal, but the ball ran wide of the far post. Immediately Fleet got the ball back and this time Bradley Wilson’s attack down the right, his cross was flicked on by Kirwan forcing Adam Forster into making the save. On 31 minutes, Fleet got their reward for all this pressure when Bradley Wilson ran down the middle into the box, his dummy drew keeper Forster and fired the ball past him to reduce the deficit to one goal. Paulton were forced into an early change as Charlie Hitchings injured himself in trying to reach Bradley’s goal. Paulton though soon had another chance to get their two goal advantage back when Sam Jordan got his head to a corner but this time saw the ball fly past the post. But immediately Paulton were given a free kick just outside the box, played short to Lewis Dix, his cross was flicked home by Sam Jordan to make it 3-1 to the home side.

The second half saw Paulton have a lot of possession but a strong containing performance saw the home side forced to play a string of side passes within the middle third of the pitch, the home side keeping the ball for up to ten minutes at a time but going nowhere with it. Into the final quarter of an hour, Paulton had a chance from a free kick but sub Jack Ball flicked the ball over the bar from inside the six yard box. Bradley Wilson had a super chance to get another goal back, when he got round the last defender and only the keeper to beat, Adam Forster spread himself and managed to reach the ball with an outstretched leg to stop the ball and clear the danger. The home side made the game safe after 88 minutes when Jack Ball turned a cross ball past Harvey White in to the net for their fourth goal. In the last minute, Bradley Wilson picked up his second yellow card for his reaction to being fouled by Lewis Dix. With other sides near the bottom losing, Fleet Town still remain 8 points from safety, they have home league games on Tuesday 26th against Yate Town and Saturday 2nd March Larkhall Athletic, before the first of this season’s two Cup Semi-Finals, this one against Sholing in the Hampshire FA Russell Cotes Cup on Tuesday 5th March at Calthorpe Park.

Fleet Town : 1 Harvey White, 2 Ross Ewen, 3 Angus Youngson, 4 Daniel Framp, 5 Sam Williams, 6 Cavan Atkinson, 7 Harryson Wickens, 8 Billy Oram, 9 Enow Ojong, 10 Eoin Kirwan, 11 Bradley Wilson.

Subs : 12 Jack Selby (on for Kirwan 55 mins), 14 Kieran Ngale-Kelly (on for Ojong 60 mins), 15 Matt Pearse (on for Youngson 80 mins)

not used 16 Stuart Derry