Ebou Adams produced a man-of-the-match-winning performance in midfield to collect the sponsors’ champagne at the end of 90 minutes but he almost introduced himself to them before that when he clattered into an advertising hoarding towards the end of the game.
The midfielder decided against intercepting a ball destined for the touchline and instead slid headlong into the hoarding, prompting manager Garry Hill to assess him before the medical staff could intervene, issue a “You’re alright, son…” diagnosis and earn a giggle from assistant manager Ian Hendon. It was all in an afternoon’s work for Adams.
“I thought it was going to be our ball then I realised I shouldn’t touch it, let go and I went straight into the billboards,” Adams declared. “After I got up I thought, what was I doing? I came to no harm, so it was all good. As long as the management are happy, that’s what counts! The fans and everyone, that’s what we want, we’re doing it for everyone.”
Adams has featured in Fleet’s last four games since returning from international duty with Gambia and he’s fitting the bill of hard work that his manager is demanding.
“I want to be in the side and I want it to be a winning side so you’re going to get 110% out of me without a shadow of a doubt,” he said. “Anyone in the squad is trying to focus on the football, no-one’s trying to focus on outside and what’s going on. Everyone’s willing to die on the pitch for every other in the team and were focusing on our teammates and that’s what counts. If you’re winning games, it’s a massive relief. Earlier in the season, we hit the crossbar, it just wasn’t going the right way for us. It was just a bit of luck really and now we’re working hard it’s coming for us.”
The 22-year-old summer signing was confident his side would make the breakthrough against Barnet despite 85 minutes of stalemate, providing they stuck to their task.
“Throughout the whole game I thought we’re going to nick this,” he said. “I didn’t have doubts, I thought if we get a chance, we will get it. Cody had a couple [of chances], he came on and did really well playing on the shoulder of defenders and on another day he would probably have had a hat-trick. You can see those two [Kedwell and McDonald] communicating and they work for each other. It’s the same for Cheeky – all three of them all work hard, they’ve all done well and probably deserved a goal each. That’s what a team is, everyone’s gelling together and concentrating on the football. We’ve got three good strikers and that’s a problem for any team in the National League, they’ll trouble any team in this league so if those three can carry on, God knows where it could end up.”
Adams also had a word of praise for substitute Bagasan Graham who hasn’t had much opportunity to showcase his talents in a Fleet shirt before now: “It’s not easy to come on as a sub and turn games like that and that’s what subs are for sometimes and he came on and did a great job so buzzing for him that it paid off. It was a tough game, the conditions weren’t easy for both sides and thankfully we saw it out. It’s a good goal from Keds, a great touch and good finish. The weather and the pitch wasn’t easy but you’ve got to grind it out and we kept doing the same thing over and over and got the three points. That’s what [the manager] wants, hard work and consistency. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and working hard, the luck is going to come your way and for us it did.”
With the two sides immediately above the Fleet dropping points, talk has inevitably started to turn to the top seven places, but Adams believes there’s a way to go before anyone in the squad turns their attentions in that direction.
“I don’t think anyone’s thinking about it yet,” he said. “I think we’re going to keep on winning games and hopefully one day we’ll look at the table and think, we’re there. But right now we’ll just focus on winning the games, that’s what matters the most. We’ll try and get in and around it, maybe sneak in.”