Corinthian 1-2 Fleet

It was 1988 the last time the Fleet played at Gay Dawn Farm in a competitive game and while this may have been ‘just’ a friendly, it was another good runout as the season kick-off approaches, writes Katie Humphris.

Dennis Kutrieb handed a start in goal to a trialist and elsewhere there were returns to the starting lineup for Ben Chapman, Sido Jombati, Michael West, Greg Cundle, Jack Paxman, Alfie Egan and Elliott Romain.

The trialist keeper got his hands warm as early as the sixth minute with a smart stop from a Corinthian shot while his opposite number kept out a Cundle effort at the other end on 10 minutes. Will Wood and Tobi Adebayo-Rowling then combined ever so well but the goalkeeper kept out the latter’s smart attempt.

Fleet edged closer to the first goal after the quarter-hour mark when Lee Martin and Alfie Egan exchanged passes, Egan’s cross finding Romain but his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Martin was on hand again on 20 minutes, driving upfield and playing in Adebayo-Rowling whose effort was well saved.

The visitors had another chance on the counter when a Corinthian free-kick was saved by Trialist before Egan hit a well-worked delivery from Jack Paxman over the bar on 25 minutes.

Fleet always looked the most likely to score in the first half, but the home side had a couple of free-kicks in quick succession, Jombati mopping up one of those with a firm headed clearance.

Busy Egan was always snapping for an opportunity and moments before half-time he drew Corinthian’s goalkeeper into a fine double-save with a pair of shots that weren’t far off breaking the deadlock after good work from Cundle and Romain.

The red shirts emerged from the half-time break keen to end that deadlock and they did so within five minutes of the restart. As he did on Saturday, Will Wood supplied the assist, this time from a corner, and Romain headed home the delivery.

Lively Fleet continued to enjoy the most possession and carried the greater threat going forward but found the Isthmian League new boys in a mean mood at the back. Wood’s drive from a Paxman corner floated past the top angle before the visitors found their second goal.

The came on the hour, as Fleet’s patient build-up play was eventually switched wide from Jombati to an even more patient Cundle lurking on the edge of the box and he tucked away his shot for 2-0.

There was a welcome return from injury for Sefa Kahraman, on as a substitute, and Martin saw his attempt saved before Trialist denied Corinthian their best chance following a shot from out wide.

Cundle and Chapman’s one-two and resulting neat cross was scrambled away and Michael West’s free-kick glided past the upright before the home side got a consolation at the very end, Fleet getting in a tangle and Corinthian taking advantage to run the ball over the line moments before the final whistle.

EUFC: Trialist, Adebayo-Rowling (N’Guessan 70), Wood (Kahraman 63), Chapman, Jombati, West, Paxman, Cundle, Egan, L.Martin (Poleon 78), Romain. Subs: J. Martin, Tanner, Bingham, Firth


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