First league game of the season and it was the old classic game of two halves. Both sides failed to settle early on as panic passing settled in on this bobbly pitch. In the first 15 mins Fleet could have been a a few goals up if not for the opposing keeper. Fleet soon had to deal with the handicap of no substitutes as both Ben R & Ben N had to pull out of the game through injury. But Fleet had a great chance to take the lead as Dan E took the ball superbly on his toe, rounded the defender and found himself with just the keeper to beat, but he blasted wide from close range. Dan E then mastered a counter attack and fed Lewis on a plate, his cracking shot was tipped round the post. For a while it was one way traffic but Fleet could easily have gone behind against the run of play as a cheeky lob just drifted wide of Alex’s post. Again, Dan E chested the ball down well to unleash a left footed strike that had goal written all over it but somehow the keeper pushed it onto the post and out of play. Another Fleet attack found Lewis baring down on goal but a push in the back was rewarded with a penalty, Dan E stepped up to smash the ball home top right for a 1-0 lead. The Elmgrove keeper continued to have a blinder as Alfie laid the ball back to Olly, his top left hand corner shot was superbly saved again. Dan E was having the lions share of chances and having beat the defender again, again he put his shot the wrong side of the post. But Dan E soon made amends as half time loomed, weaving across the edge of the box he let fly and found the bottom left corner to double his tally and double Fleet’s lead.
Half Time 2 v 0
And so ensued a painful second half, patchy and clumsy play from both sides especially Fleet who seemed to tire without the luxury of subs. Very few chances created by either side and Fleet looked content to sit back on their lead. But the clumsiness continued as Fleet’s defence failed to clear an easy ball and somehow the ball ended up in the back of the net for a calamitous 2 v 1. More and more midfield and defensive errors gave Elmgrove a sniff at an equalizer, Jamie having to clear off the line as Fleet were quite simply on the rack. Alex in goal, was now becoming our busiest player as Elmgrove stepped up a gear. Then a desperate, rash challenge in the box gifted Elmgrove a worthy penalty. Although Alex appeared to get a touch, the ball went underneath him for 2 v 2.
The minutes to full time counted down slowly as Fleet begun to hang on to the share of the points. Seconds to go and it was a ‘hearts in our mouths’ moment as a well struck free kick looked in, but Alex plucked the ball from danger at full stretch.
Full Time 2 v 2