Michael West maintains Fleet’s unbeaten away record…
Another unchanged line-up for the Fleet and another win on the road was just what the doctor ordered ahead of next week’s FA Cup tie against this same opposition.
Boreham Wood fielded former Fleet trialists Mario Noto and Leon McKenzine plus Joe Benjamin in their line-up and were looking to build on a 3-1 wins over Dartford and Enfield Town in recent weeks. But they didn’t show too much ambition in a game that was hardly inspiring for the neutral and less-than-interesting for even the partisans in the crowd.
But at least for visiting fans it was the Fleet who did most of the running and Tom Phipp and Ashley Carew had the opening efforts. And Ricky Shakes should have opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Phipp’s cross was knocked on by Calum Willock but the Shakes shot high from close range.
At the other end, Benjamin also tried his luck from close range but that was about all the home side offered in a lacklustre affair. It took another 15 minutes for anything much to cheer when Willock touched Ram Marwa’s pass into space but Shakes just couldn’t get on the end of it and it was headed clear.
And the only other incident of note, thankfully for the collection of Fleet fans, was a goal for their side. It arrived courtesy of Michael West on 38 minutes when he slid a shot beneath Ashley Jones from Phipp’s ball in to once again haul himself alongside Willock at the top of the scoring charts.
With their noses in front, the Fleet looked unlikely to wrestle control and could have been home and dry on 51 minutes when Derek Duncan’s decent cross was sent just wide of the post from Willock. That same combination tested the goalkeeper in a similar move minutes later and Jones was up to the task with a great save. In a 10-minute spell up to the hour mark, it was all Willock but his efforts were either just wide or gathered by Jones.
With no sign of a crucial killer goal, however, that brought the home side a measure of encouragement and they began to dictate things a little better going forward. McKenzie ran through to slot a shot over the bar and then substitute Dean Cracknell, recently of Welling, was given far too much space but couldn’t keep his shot on target.
Wood introduced the rangy Fola Onibuje to give the Fleet back line something else to think about and he sent a header close but the red shirts defended in numbers and were helped in the dying minutes when McKenzie received a second yellow card after bringing down Willock as he broke upfield.
Liam Daish’s frustrations at seeing his side sit deep in the closing period were easily audible but his side hung on and at least extended their unbeaten run to 10 games. It would have been easy for the Fleet to let concentration slip ahead of next week’s FA Cup game and though this was far from vintage, it was three solid points.
TEAM: Edwards, Stone, Duncan, Carew, Easton, Lorraine, West, Marwa, Willock, Shakes (Williams 71), Phipp. Subs not used: Hagan, Howe, Henry, Pooley.
Paul Lorraine won last week’s man of the match with 35%. Who wins at the Wood? [ VOTE HERE ]