James Lindie fires new-look Fleet to their first point…
Liam Daish’s latest line of young guns came back all barrels blazing after an indifferent start against a confident Altrincham side and could have stolen all three points with better fortune.
Daish’s new charges included only four recognised faces from last season and in front of a 914 crowd they looked a little rushed in the opening encounters, Alty’s seasoned Conference core of players making most of the running and forcing plenty of set pieces. The Fleet midfield struggled to get to grips with Tom Kearney in particular who was pulling the strings for the home side. Magno Vieira had Fleet’s first real effort with a shot on the half hour but Alty’s pressure told six minutes before half-time. Dale Johnson escaped the attentions of the Feet rearguard and he found Chris Senior who showed his experience as he created room and time for a shot from 12 yards that bent past Cronin into the bottom of the net.
Cronin kept the Fleet in things on the stroke of half-time, with a double save from Chris Denham and Matthew Doughty and having kept the score down to 1-0, Crooks and Charles organising, chasing and getting themselves in the way of everything Alty threw, Daish either relaxed or rocketed his charges at half-time. Either way they came out a much more composed bunch of players, Jamie Forshaw immediately getting into the thick of things with an effort on goal.
And when Vieira went off injured, his replacement James Lindie took barely a minute to register his interest in the striker’s position. Ricky Shakes provided the ammunition from the right wing, skipping past the Alty left back, and Lindie was on hand close-in to rifle a shot past Stuart Coburn.
Another substitute, Michael West on for Jamie Forshaw, almost made it 2-1 on 78 minutes, firing a shot that appeared to clip the post with Coburn floundering, while a disallowed goal at the death would have put the icing on the cake for a Fleet side that showed in the second half much more promise than fans had dared hope a month or two ago.
TEAM: Cronin, Salmon, Collins, Crooks, Charles, Heeroo, Shulton, Welsh (Wills 83), Shakes, Vieira (Lindie 58), Forshaw (West 71). Subs not used: Lamprill, Pooley.