Match Report -

Match Report - , by Ian Craig

Fleet Spurs v Fairford Town

Fleet Spurs 1 Fairford Town 3 (FA Vase Second Round Qualifying) by John Porter

Fleet welcomed Fairford Town for their first ever visit to Kennels Lane to experience all the excitement of the FA Vase.  The Gloucestershire side are riding high in the Hellenic League Division One West, having won five league games out of six and rattling up a positive goal difference of 28-3.  Both sides play at Step 6 of the national league system, and the game looked likely to be a stiff challenge for Spurs.  So it proved, though the home side managed to keep within touch of the visitors until just before the end of stoppage time.

At the start, the sides seemed evenly matched, with Spurs having the majority of possession but Town looking the more threatening team as their quick breaks put pressure on the home defence.  Fortunately for Fleet, Victor Mudonhi was in top form, using his speed to cut out danger and timing his tackles immaculately.  Neither keeper was troubled very much, though Mark Appleby had to stretch to turn a long shot over the bar.  Just as it looked as if the first period was to be scoreless, Josh Morse beat his man on the left and striker Lee Smith powered home his low cross.  The half-time score probably flattered the visitors but Fleet had in truth created very few real chances.

After the break, Fairford began to dominate play without looking likely to increase their lead, and Spurs gradually got back into the game, which developed into a stalemate for most of the half.  Then in the 77th minute, lax defending gave Jack Ellis the opportunity to force the ball home from close range.  This doubled the visitors’ lead, and it appeared that the final score would be 2-0.  However, as the game moved into stoppage time, skipper Jamil Olweny was deemed to have been tripped in the box and Sam Knowles reduced the arrears from the spot.  Spurs now threw all their resources forward and their supporters wondered if they might enjoy a miraculous late recovery.  Not to be, as a quick Town break caught the Spurs defence out of position when Morse ran on to a long through the ball and slid the ball home.

The result gave a fair indication of the game as overall, Fairford were the better side.  However, Spurs were not disgraced, although they must be concerned about occasional slackness in defence and lack of sharpness up front.  They wish their visitors all the best for their progress in the Vase.

Spurs’ next game is at Romsey Town in the league on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45) and on Saturday they entertain improving Folland Sports (kick-off 3 pm).

Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Chris Barnes; Adam Nash; Victor Mudonhi; Jordan Stepney; Rob Colfer (sub Mike Flounders 64); Drew Matthews;Michael Bertoux (sub Dan Bone 64); Jamil Olweny (capt); Sam Knowles; Tom Slane (sub Jordan Gibbs 80)