Cheek welcomes competition up top
Cheek welcomes competition up top

Between them this festive season, Fleet’s three strikers have scored eight of the side’s 11 goals and none of them show any signs of letting up. It’s a welcome selection problem for Garry Hill each week but Michael Cheek, whose brace lifted him to eight goals this season so far, thinks the strikers can feed off each other’s successes.

“I’m getting [towards my goal target], slowly but surely,” Cheek told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “I don’t know how many Keds has got to be honest but he did say in there, ‘you’re catching me now’. Cody’s got a few goals now too so hopefully all three of us will start competing against each other. We practice scoring and shooting most days in training and it’s paying off.

“I’ve always said I score in blocks. I go through a stage just getting one and two each week and then I’ll go through a stage of not scoring but I’m going through one of the [first] stages at the moment. I’m delighted to get two goals and a clean sheet for the boys and it moves us three points up the table.”

Not only are the strikers getting goals, but they’re getting them early as Fleet struck their third quickfire opener in as many matches.

“For some reason it’s clicking at the moment and we’re getting that first goal in which always helps and it gets us on the front foot,” Cheek said. “Maybe a change of tactics, but we look like we’re going to score straight away these days and the boys will take it. It gives Garry a headache – he can pick anyone these days and as he says, it doesn’t weaken the side because we’ve got 17 good players and each one can start. He’s got the players believing that we’re going to go out there and get three points. It’s a fresh challenge and it’s paying off.”

Aside from scoring two, Cheek also provided the assist for Corey Whitely’s seventh goal of the season and the former Dagenham strike partners were on each other’s wavelength once again.

“I saw him in the centre and had to put it in for him,” Cheek said. “He sort of flicked it round the corner and he does that in training every day and he’s got to do that on the pitch more often because he’s unreal. I’ve not scored any like that, it was definitely very Corey, that one.”

Cheek was also quick to praise his defence for another clean sheet… and the Fleet fans for their excellent backing once again.

“The goals have been going on but it’s the defence who have been keeping the clean sheets which is pleasing,” he said. “You can hear the fans today. [Despite it] being at Braintree, I saw more red shirts than orange today and the fans have been unreal. We’re doing really well in the league and more fans are starting to come and believe in the team and it’s starting to show. It’s a cliche to take each game as it comes and we’re going under the radar a little bit at the moment and we’ll keep picking up the three points and see where it takes us. Chesterfield [next], they’re on a bit of a bad run at the moment but that’ll be a tough game.”

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