Six goals in six games for Moses, but it’s Fleet’s first defeat on the road in 2010…
With Crawley having won four home games on the trot and the Fleet unbeaten on the road this year, something had to give at Broadfield this afternoon. And sadly for Liam Daish’s men, it was Crawley who celebrated their first-ever win over the Fleet in the Conference with two late goals enough to see them home.
Missing Peter Holmes, Gavin Heeroo was drafted into the starting XI in a first half that saw some good passing football but yielded little in terms of excitement with both goalkeepers mere spectators.
The Fleet were restricted to a couple of Moses Ashikodi shots that went astray while the home side’s best chance saw on-loan Histon defender Matt Langston head wide from a corner when well placed. For Crawley, danger man Charles Ademeno was keeping Darius Charles and Leon Crooks busy and but for Charles’ exemplary alertness, could well have given Lance Cronin a busier afternoon.
The talking point for the Fleet was an injury to the luckless Dean Pooley who has been on the sharp end of numerous challenges lately. Once again he was brave in the challenge but emerged worse off with knee ligament damage that required a stretcher and his replacement by Will Salmon.upo t
The second half remained a cagey affair as both sides probed and took turns to up the pressure. Magno Vieira should have done better on the hour mark with sight of goal but dwelt on his shot and his path was eventually blocked.
But Crawley chose their moment well and as the game entered the final 29 minutes, they turned on the style. Cronin was tested with a Glen Wilson cross that needed to be helped clear the bar and then five minutes later, the home side were in front.
No doubt the ever-vociferous management team of Steve Evans and Paul Raynor will take credit for a substitution that paid dividends inside two minutes as Crawley put together a fine passing move which ended when Danny Forrest supplied sub Michael Malcolm and he headed past Cronin.
Fleet’s injury jinx hit again on 83 minutes when Heeroo gave way to a knee problem, Scott Ginty coming on, but the super sub couldn’t prevent his side falling further behind three minutes later. Midfield playmaker Thomas Pinault knocked a ball into Ademeno who, with his back to goal, nabbed the ball from under Crooks’ feet and drove into the net in fine style.
Ashikodi maintained his excellent statistic of a goal a game lately when he powered a free kick into the bottom corner on 90 minutes to make it six goals from six games, but it wasn’t enough to improve the Fleet’s standing in the league table. And the only silver lining to this cloud was the 8-0 thrashing of Gateshead and defeat for Eastbourne elsewhere.
TEAM: Cronin, Pooley (Salmon 40), Collins, Charles, Crooks, Heeroo (Ginty 83) Stavrinou, Bailey, Shakes (Welsh 89), Vieira, Ashikodi. Subs not used: West, Wills