Luke Moore’s brace makes for a miserable evening for the Fleet…
The Fleet crashed to their ninth league defeat in 10 games as AFC Wimbledon made relatively light work of the obstacle presented by a much-weakened visiting defence.
Dean Pooley and Will Salmon, against his former club, were recalled to the back four as the Fleet looked to unsettle an AFCW side with a fairly patchy home record this season. But it was a familiar story of early parity, possession and effort without any cutting edge as the Fleet were restricted to off-target shots courtesy of Stefan Bailey and Magno Vieira.
The home side stepped up their threat from the 20-minute mark, Danny Kedwell shaving the bar with a shot, and Lance Cronin stopping shots from Lewis Taylor and Steven Gregory. And with the game heading towards half-time goalless, it was Luke Moore who broke the deadlock on 42 minutes in typical style, rasping home Jay Conroy’s pass.
The Fleet rose to the challenge early in the second half and Ricky Shakes should have done better than blast a shot over the crossbar on 50 minutes from inside the box. Ross Smith surged through to finally warm the hands of goalkeeper Seb Brown but just past the hour mark, the Fleet’s task got more difficult. Ricky Wellard took advantage of some slack Fleet passing and found Kedwell down the right. Out of nothing, the former Welling and Grays striker volleyed home in superb style, leaving Cronin with no chance as the ball fizzed away from him.
Man-of-the-match Moore, somewhat predicably, grabbed his second of the night and third against Fleet this season on 73 minutes when he was given far too much time and space on the edge of the box and slotted home with ease, refusing to celebrate in what is now becoming his trademark against his former side.
Peter Holmes fired off a well-executed free-kick for the visitors in the final 10 minutes and substitute Jamie Forshaw showed glimpses of promise as he combined well with Shakes on more than one occasion, but the home side rarely looked in discomfort as the gap at the bottom of the table widened.
TEAM: Cronin, Heeroo, Salmon, Pooley, Smith, Holmes, Bailey, West, Welsh, Shakes, Vieira (Forshaw 67). Subs not used: Lamprell, Read, Ginty, Wills