Match Report - Division 1
Match Report - , by Ian Craig
Fleet Spurs v Downton
Fleet Spurs 4 Downton 0 (Sydenhams Wessex League Division 1) by John Porter
At last! Spurs put and end to their disappointing run on Tuesday evening and in doing so gained their first victory of 2017. It was a decisive victory too, as they produced a strong second-half performance and by the end completely dominated mid-table Downton. The victory was all the more impressive as it was gained without four regular starters, including the injured player-manager Sam Knowles.
The game started with both sides competing hard but generally fairly. This meant that there wasn’t much coherent play, but no-one could fault the effort of either side. The Robins began to put a few moves together but without seriously threatening the Fleet goal. Then after 23 minutes, and somewhat against the run of the play, Spurs took the lead. Skipper Jamil Olweny crossed the ball accurately to Dan Bone, who had found space at the far post and who headed powerfully home. The Wiltshire side were clearly stung by this and a minute after Bone’s goal, they almost equalised, but a Spurs defender headed a goal-bound header off the line. Downton continued to press hard for the rest of the half and 14 minutes before the break the home goal had an even more charmed life as Shaun Prentice’s shot hit the inside of the far post and rolled agonisingly along the goal-line before Victor Mudonhi cleared it for a corner. The half ended with no further score, much to Spurs’ relief.
After the break the game was evenly matched for a long time with neither side able to establish a firm advantage. However, it was clear that the Downton players were becoming frustrated, and this frustration increased when after 26 minutes, Spurs doubled their lead. Pete Lines made a good run along the goal-line on the left and pulled the ball back cleverly for man of the match Mike Bertoux to blast the ball past keeper Charlie Aldridge from just inside the box, giving the Downton keeper no chance. This setback seemed to take the wind out of the Robins’ sails and Fleet began to win almost all of the 50/50 balls as their opponents became more ragged. Seven minutes after Bertoux’s goal, Lloyd Jones, making a rare but welcome appearance for Spurs, got his head to an Adam Nash free-kick and diverted the ball just inside the far post. There was now no way back for Downton, and Bone completed the scoring in the 80th minute with a powerful low drive into the corner of the net.
Spurs remain in 16th position in the league. On Saturday they visit Hythe & Dibden (kick-off 3.00) and will hope to produce a similar performance.
Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Adam Bond; Adam Nash; Robin Bidlake; Victor Mudonhi; Ryan Alexander; Dan Bone; Mike Bertoux; Jamil Olweny; Lloyd Jones (sub Jan Verhoeven 82);Pete Lines (sub Chris Rose 77)