Match Report -

Match Report - , by Ian Craig

New Milton Town v Fleet Spurs

New Milton Town 0 Fleet Spurs 4 by John Porter

This was a game of firsts for Spurs: first ever win at New Milton; first away win of the season; first clean sheet of the season.

The first half was dreary in the extreme, relieved only by a couple of good moments for Fleet.  Both came from good through balls to Dan Bone.  First the burly striker shot low and hard after powering his way past a Linnets defender after a ball from Tom Slane, but keeper Kieran Burgess made a good save with his right foot.  A minute later, the through ball was from Mike Bertoux and Bone slipped the ball through Burgess’ legs to open the scoring.  That was the end of any decent play in the first half.  New Milton’s main tactic was to hoof the ball optimistically toward the visitors’ goal but this didn’t work, as either a forward had strayed offside or the ball was over-hit and went straight through to Mark Appleby.  Spurs weren’t much better and a diversion such as a dog on the pitch might have relieved the tedium, but there’s never a stray dog when you want one.

Half time 0-1 and everyone hoping for a better second half.  Which we got.  New Milton came out looking much more composed and for the first time began to put pressure on the Fleet defence.  No doubt they had enjoyed some encouraging words from their management team at half-time.  However, 12 minutes into the half Spurs scored a classic breakaway goal when Slane followed a driving run with a well-placed through ball which Bone latched onto and beat Burgess with a crisp low shot into the far corner of the net.

Midway through the second half the Linnets defence conceded one of many corners. The resulting kick from Bone went beyond the far post and was headed back into the goalmouth for player-manager Sam Knowles to head in from close range. This goal put the result beyond doubt, as Fleet were by now comfortably on top and playing some fluent and controlled football.  Ten minutes before the end Chris Rose put the icing on the cake when he cut in from the left and put a right foot drive past the helpless Burgess and high into the far top corner for his first goal for the club.  The final score by no means flattered Spurs, whose second-half performance was a great improvement on those in recent games.

Fleet have now moved up a place into 15th position.  In their next game, they will be very pleased to welcome high-flying Shaftesbury for their first visit to Kennels Lane after an absence of several years from the Wessex League.  Kick-off time is 3.00.

Spurs team: Mark Appleby; Sam Lynham; Adam Nash; Rob Colfer; Victor Mudonhi; Tom Slane; Dan Bone; Mike Bertoux; Jamil Olweny (capt); Sam Knowles; Chris Rose (sub Jan Verhoeven 82)