It’s six games unbeaten and three successive clean sheets for the Fleet after a goalless draw at Boreham Wood proved to be a fair result in a tight encounter. For his first league game in charge, Garry Hill made two enforced changes with International pair Myles Weston and Ebou Adams in action for their countries. That meant starts for Sean Shields and Andy Drury while Coventry loanee Reise Allassani was back on the bench on his return to the club earlier this week.
And Shields certainly set about playing himself into the manager’s plans with three crosses in the opening stages, two of them falling at Corey Whitely’s feet but his efforts didn’t hit the target. Chris Bush, too, had a delivery drop invitingly inside the six-yard box but Boreham Wood managed to clear their lines.
That was as much as Wood could do to begin with as Fleet were first to the ball and eager in the challenge. That supremacy didn’t last, however, and the home side found their way back into it, with the game becoming entrenched a little in midfield.
Both sides’ left flanks were the best outlets, with former Dover man Femi Ilesanmi eventually shrugging off the attentions of Whitely to impress himself upon the game and he exploited the space between Whitely and Sam Magri to good effect. Former Fleet favourite Ricky Shakes was a hard-working engine in the middle for the home side, as well, and Jack Payne and Andy Drury had to run hard to keep Fleet ticking over in midfield.
Whitely’s shot just past the upright from a Shields cross was Fleet’s best effort though Luke Coulson edged ahead of three men inside the box but they closed him down before he could unload his second touch. Kedwell drove on to an errant pass to bear down on goal on 25 minutes but his shot went just wide and the Fleet No.9 was just behind a well-executed Shields cross moments later.
The home side had chances too, the best of them coming after Kenny Clark had blocked a Gozie Ugwu shot and the ball fell wide for Justin Shaibu, his wild shot across goal grazing Nathan Ashmore’s bar. Before that Jack Payne slid in to deny Shaibu as he took aim with nothing standing in the way of Ashmore while Keiran Murtagh’s free-kick skipped low through the wall, taking a deflection on its way behind.
The home side returned from the break with a lot more purpose and played most of the game in the Fleet half for the next 25 minutes. Whereas Fleet had been first to the 50/50 challenges in the first half, many more of them now went Boreham Wood’s way and spurred on by Shakes and Murtagh in the middle, the visitors struggled to do much more than clear their lines.
Dave Winfield led the Fleet back line well against the pressure as his side were generally restricted to counter attacks, the best being Kedwell’s flick on to Whitely that created space but he was closed down. Kedwell made way for Michael Cheek on the hour, Allassani also introduced, but it took a little while for the change to take effect.
When it did, Fleet gave the home side much more to think about, creating some chances in the final 15 minutes of the action.
But when Shakes broke through the midfield on 70 minutes, Fleet were stretched and Magri’s cushioned header almost fell the wrong side of Ashmore who had to take evasive action to pounce on the ball in his six-yard box.
Allassani began to show some pace and that forced the home side into retreat and it was he who got sight of goal 12 minutes from time as a sublime Drury ball behind the defence opened up Boreham Wood but a corner was the end result.
Allassani’s running helped create the next opportunity, his ball back to Bush crossed into the box. Cheek was on to it quickly and went close before he was forced wide and couldn’t get a second shot away from a very tight angle.
Winfield reached a corner to head on target and Whitely sent a free-kick a whisker wide as the visitors finished strongly, though Bradley Ash spun quickly and sent a shot on goal wide at the other end before the final whistle.
EUFC: Ashmore, Magri, Bush, Clark, Winfield, Payne, Drury, Shields (McQueen 79), Whitely, Coulson (Allassani 78), Kedwell (Cheek 58). Subs not used: King, Wilson
BWFC: Huddart, Woodards (Thomas 60), Ilesanmi, Ricketts, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Fyfield, Ugwu (Umerah 60), Shaibu (Ash 73). Subs not used: Parry, Smith.