The Fleet finally drew the curtain on their 2007-08 season by claiming their seventh Kent Senior Cup in a 4-0 victory over Cray Wanderers. Liam Daish fielded a strong side with none of his PASE side in the starting line-up, and only Kwesi Appiah of that squad on the bench.
The early exchanges on a sweltering afternoon in Bromley were predictably cagey with a depleted Cray side content to test the water – though in the tall Sean Beveney they had a dangerous, skilful and pacey frontman who with a little more help could have unsettled Peter Hawkins and Darius Charles early on. Charles had the Fleet’s first opportunity when he headed over from a Ricky Shakes cross though it was Shakes who provided the magic on 35 minutes from which the Fleet eventually opened their account. Cutting in from the right he sent a looping mid-height cross into the box which Cray goalkeeper Grant Hall could only parry into Luke Moore’s path and the young Fleet striker tucked away the chance with a deft drive into the back of the net.
In a relatively uneventful first-half Criag Stone again caught the eye with intelligent reading of the game and slick, short passing that bodes well for the Fleet’s forthcoming league campaign. New signing Michael Gash certainly looked commanding in the air and strong on the ball, allowing Moore to feed off him, though there was little end product for the Fleet in the opening 45 minutes.
The Fleet stepped up a gear in the second half and as time wore on, Cray – with no substitutes to call upon – visibly wilted as the sun bore down on Hayes Lane. It was no surprise when the Fleet extended their lead on 72 minutes when Moore and Stone combined to feed Stacy Long who ran through on goal and fizzed a shot past Hall for 2-0. Seven minutes later and Long again got through the Cray defence only to be felled as he surged into the box. Moore despatched his penalty with aplomb to make it 3-0 and a minute later his run down the right and cross for substitute George Purcell made it a perfect four.
Former Chelmsford City and Canvey Island striker Kezie Ibe got a run-out from the bench and looked strong, while Shakes also caught the eye with his turn of pace and willingness to drive forwards.
TEAM: Cronin, Hawkins, Opinel (Ricketts 80), Smith, Charles, Barrett (Purcell 76), Stone, Long, Shakes, Moore, Gash (Ibe 69). Subs not used: Mott, Appiah.