Slimbridge 1 Fleet Town 3

Fleet Town returned from deepest Gloucestershire with all three points, with their first league win of the season and their third in succession in all competitions. For the second time in a week, Fleet’s pre-match plans had to be changed at the last minute, with Stuart Derry unable to complete the warm up, he was forced to drop from the starting line up to a place on the bench, giving Ronan Silva a start, when he had only expected to be coming off the bench late on.

The game started slowly, a tight midfield exchange, after a quarter of an hour Slimbridge managed to get a couple of long range shots off, but they were well wide or over the target. Fleet’s first chance came when Billy Oram drove to the by-line and crossed the ball into the box, but straight towards keeper Lewis Adams, who needed two grabs to pick the ball up. Fleet were now controlling the midfield, picking up loose balls and winning tackles to set up an attacking move, without getting as much joy around the box, as the ball was running the home sides way in that part of the pitch. The best chance came when Joe Wilson’s cross found the head of Meshach Williams, only for Lewis Adams to rise up and catch the ball. Late in the first half Slimbridge were given a free kick down by the corner flag, the ball was played deep to the far post, headed goalward only found Fleet’s keeper, Harvey White, brought in from Queens Park Rangers, this week, in the right place to make the save. Half time came with the game goalless.

The second half saw Fleet get the first chances, a solo run from Meshach Williams presented him with two chances, but both shots were blocked. Fleet then came close to grabbing the lead as a free kick found Ronan Silva up to meet the ball but his effort ran wide. Slimbridge’s half time sub Danny King had a good chance for the hosts when he turned inside the box and shot, wide. As another Slimbridge attack broke down, Fleet broke out quckly and Lamar Koroma powered on, winning the ball back off three defenders who tried to tackle him, before his final shot was deflected for a corner, this was played in and touched on by a defender but only into the path of Lamar Koroma who fired the ball through a crowd of players into the net to give Fleet Town a deserved lead after 55 minutes. Moments later Fleet should have doubled their advantage when Meshach Williams burst through but with time and space to pick his spot, he blasted the ball 20 yards off target. At the other end Fleet needed some keen defending to stop Slimbridge from finding a way back into the game. As another Slimbridge attack was snuffed out, Harryson Wickens collected the ball at the back, taking the ball up to midfield before passing on to Meshach Williams, who rushed forward to the box, but so far ahead of his teammates to support him, he was forced to shoot himself and this effort passed just over the bar. Moments later Connor Channon won the ball back in midfield, passed to Harryson Wickens, who in turn passed the ball out to Meshach Williams, this time Meshach’s shot passed just wide of the post. Almost immediately Fleet were in again, with Amarni Bonsu and Harryson Wickens combining around the box, Slimbridge were forced into conceding another corner. This was only half cleared and on 74 minutes, Harryson Wickens pounced to score on his debut, after joining from Staines Town this week. With Fleet Town on top and 2-0 to the good, the hosts gambled on a double change to try to save the game. Slimbridge were now more of a threat and from a goalmouth scramble, Fleet were lucky to make a goal line clearence and gave the hosts a corner, for which Slimbridge filled the box, with so many bodies in the small area another scramble ensued and ran Fleet’s way and played out to Meshach Williams waiting on the half way line, he collected the ball past the one defender left back, keeper Lewis Adams was 30 yards upfield as sweeper and when he saw Meshach running through back-peddled to try to make his ground but Meshach lobbed the ball over him and into the net to put Fleet three goals to the good with only five minutes of normal time left. Slimbridge had to be applauded for not letting their heads drop and still poured forward, on 87 minutes Sub Joe Wilton pulled one back, a frantic final few minutes of end to end action could have produced more goals, Riccardo Andrady could have finally killed the game at one end but his shot ran wide, moments later from a free kick the hosts thought they had another goal back in the third minute of added time, when Joe Noakes roe to meet the ball and headed home, only for the celebrations to be cut short after the referee noticed his assistant standing with his flag raised and signalled that Noakes had come back from an offside position. Another tense couple of minutes followed before the final whistle blew and Fleet Town had completed the win.

Social media feeds showed some of the party on the coach back to Fleet as the players celebrated before the hard week training and planning for the visit of Salisbury on Saturday in the FA Trophy.

Fleet Town : 1 Harvey White, 2 Joe Wilson, 3 Matthew Deadfield, 4 Amarni Bonsu, 5 Ronan Silva, 6 Daniel Framp, 7 Harryson Wickens, 8 Lamar Koroma, 9 Meshach Williams, 10 Connor Channon, 11 Billy Oram.

Subs : 12 Stuart Derry (on for Wickens 80 mins), 18 Abdul Rajab (on for Koroma 85 mins), 17 Riccardo Andrady (on for Williams 87 mins)

not used : 14 Layton Avenell, 16 Danilo Cadete