FLEET TOWN RECOVER FROM WORST POSSIBLE START
By Chris Pinn
Taken from the Fleet Town website
Fleet went into this rearranged game at Uxbridge, brought forward as both our original opponents were involved in FA Cup action, against one of our bogey sides, Fleet’s last win at Honeycroft was in January 2008.
Fleet had hoped to take their good form of 3 successive wins, albeit in various Cup competitions, into their League games. Within two minutes, Fleet had the worst start, failing behind when a deep cross from the right was headed back into the box by Carter on the far post, for Eisa to nod the ball past Pryce from one yard out. The early goal encouraged the home side as they pegged Fleet back, restricting the visitors to some quick break outs, when a flowing move found Coxy, he laid the ball out to Chalky, Ben made space and seeing the keeper off his line, lobbed the ball over him, only to see it come down on the top of the crossbar and fall behind, this scare for the hosts after ten minutes, only encouraged them to push forward harder, being too early in the game to try to shut up shop. Uxbridge were applying plenty of pressure and looked very dangerous on their attacks, the Fleet fans present fearing the worst and expecting a long afternoon, then Fleet turned the game on its head, with Uxbridge giving away more free kicks as Toye and Carr in particular were caught again and again with Ben’s fast feet as he turned his way past his markers and Rob’s pacey runs. From one of these free kicks, the ball was played up and out to Carr, Rob rounded a defender to cross to the middle of the box for Simba to meet and head home the equaliser on 16 minutes. Just after the half hour, after absorbing several more dangerous attacks from the hosts, Carr again played the ball across the box, it ran free and was collected by Josh Francis, who fired a firce shot in, although keeper McCarthy got something on it, he could not hold the ball and it ran loose, only Cox reacted to the situation and Pat pounced, he blasted the ball wide of the keeper into the corner of the net to put Fleet ahead, on what was his 99th starting appearance for Fleet Town, spread over his several periods with us. Almost immediately Fleet were on the attack again, Carr’s ball in found Simba, whose cross was cleared for a throw, taken by Josh Francis, one of several he launched deep into the box, this time Simba played the ball to Carr, who was brought down inside the D, before getting his shot away, Davo’s free kick went round the wall, but after bouncing around the box was scrambled away. With half time approaching another Fleet move gave Chalky the chance to set up Rob Carr, he struck the ball from the edge of the box, up into the roof of the net, stunning the home fans to see Fleet 3-1 ahead, there was still time in the half for another Uxbridge counter, Eisa jinked his way around two defenders before taking the ball to the byline and cutting it back to the middle of the box, where their goal machine Woods was waiting, he fired home and reduced the deficit to 2-3.
Uxbridge took their time emerging for the second half, after what was probably an interesting time in the dressing room, they kept Fleet waiting a couple of minutes before coming out, then made two changes before the second half could start. After all the goalmouth excitement of the first half, it was perhaps too much to expect the second to be a repeat. With more midfield action this half, it brought the best from Harfield, Rousell and Davo to clear Uxbridge attacks before they got in behind, keeping the hosts chances to a minimum. Whatever Uxbridge’s master plan from half time was, it fell apart only 8 minutes in a rash tackle on Carr by Wiseman saw him collect his second Yellow Card, for a Red and leave the action early. Despite the man advantage and subsequent periods of domination, Simba, Cox, Carr, Davo, Wilkinson all came close, but could not add to the score, then late on McCarthy had to pull off the best save of the game, a diving save to push away a fine Danilo strike, keeping it a nervous time for the Fleet fans until the final whistle finally blew.