Match Report - Division 1
Match Report - , by Ian Craig
Fleet Spurs v Baffins Milton Rovers
Fleet Spurs 0 Baffins Milton Rovers 5 (Sydenhams Wessex League Division 1) by John Porter
Spurs welcomed Baffins to Kennels Lane for the first time. There was a special welcome for Baffins president Ray Crawford, who had a distinguished career that stretched from the late 50s to the early 70s, playing for England and a number of Football League clubs including Portsmouth, Ipswich Town (winning a First Division championship in the far-off days when the First Division was what it said), Wolves and Colchester (two goals in a giant-killing FA Cup fifth round tie against the then mighty Leeds team). He is also the first Englishman to score hat-tricks in the league, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup. Just to make it clear: it wasn’t modest Ray who gave us that historic and recondite fact, but one of his colleagues. Today he was able to see a very good Rovers side prove themselves much too of a handful for a Fleet team that to their credit battled until the end.
The first five minutes were alarming for the home side as they were unable to get the ball into the visitors’ half. Only some excellent saves by Mark Appleby kept the score sheet blank. Spurs gradually got into the game, though Baffins continued to dominate. After 24 minutes, hot-shot Ryan Pennery ran on to a well-placed through ball from George Thomas and slid the ball low past Appleby and just inside the post. Five minutes later, skipper Tyler Moret was left clear just outside the penalty area from a lobbed through ball, this time from Shane Cornish, and shot strongly past Appleby. Half-time came with no further score, with Rovers by no means flattered by a two-goal margin.
After the break, the game was more even, but Spurs were unable to create any real chances, and it was no surprise when on the hour mark Cornish fed Pennery with another through ball, and the striker timed his run brilliantly, sidestepped a Fleet defender and lobbed Appleby from 25 yards for his 38th goal of the season. If there had been any doubt about the eventual result, that removed it. There was still plenty of time for debutant substitute Bobby Scott to score two goals. The first came midway through the half from a rebound after Pennery had hit the far post, and the second from yet another through ball, the provider on this occasion being Moret. The final score was a fair reflection of the game, and indeed the margin might have been greater if it hadn’t been for Appleby.
Spurs remain 15th in the league, but are beginning to lose touch with the teams above them. For their next game they visit AFC Stoneham on Saturday (kick-off 3.00), where they will be hoping to gain their first points of 2017.
Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Sam Lynham; Adam Nash; Tom Slane; Victor Mudonhi; Will Bidlake; Dan Bone; Mike Bertoux (sub Ryan Alexander 61); Jamil Olweny (capt); Jordan Gibbs; Chris Rose (sub Jan Verhoeven 80).