Focused Fleet claim Pirelli point

BURTON ALBION 1-1 EBBSFLEET UNITED

Luke Moore’s 13th-minute strike is cancelled out by a late Burton equaliser as Fleet forced to settle for a draw.

BURTON ALBION 1-1 EBBSFLEET UNITED

A first half goal from striker Luke Moore was enough to see the Fleet come away from the Pirelli Stadium with a point last Tuesday night.

Liam Daish made three changes to the side that ran out 5 ? 4 victors over Kidderminster, and was missing Danny Slatter, Warren Goodhind and Chukki Eribenne. They were replaced in the starting XI by Mark De Bolla, Luke Moore and new loan signing John Hastings. There was also a place on the bench for Neil Barrett, his first appearance since being injured at Salisbury.

The Fleet were the side who grabbed the initiative, thanks to willing runs through the midfield. Pressing forward as Burton struggled to get a grip on the game, the reds forced a corner. Stacy Long whipped the ball in, and debutant Hastings glanced a header wide of the upright.

It took only 13 minutes for the Fleet to take the lead. The Reds defence, well marshalled by skipper Paul McCarthy on his 100th appearance, cleared an Albion corner and launched a swift counter attack. Hastings cut inside Albion midfielder Danny Holmes, but found Andy Gooding tracking back. Gooding won the tackle, but in an attempt to play the ball back to keeper Kevin Poole, the pass was intercepted by Moore. He showed great skill in taking the ball past the Burton shot stopper, and from almost the byline, slid the ball into the empty net from an acute angle.

Albion almost equalised immediately, Jake Edwards forcing Lance Cronin into a smart save, but the Brewers failed to captialise on their home advantage.

Keith Gilroy produced a fine cross on 21 minutes, but the shot by Aiston was weak, and Cronin watched as it sailed well over the bar. Other than a shot from Shaun Harrad, the Fleet controlled most of the possession in the first half, Mark De Bolla volleying over the bar with one of the better chances.

John Hastings had a great chance to double the advantage early in the second half. A through ball, combined with a slip from Brayford, allowed Hastings time to set himself up for a one on one with Poole, but it was the Albion stopper who came out on top, keeping his side in the game.

Brayford fired wide for the home side from 25 yards, and then some astute defending from Sacha Opinel prevented Clare from making contact with a left wing cross.

Daish removed Hastings from the fray with 17 minutes to play, replacing him with Saturday?s match winner Luke Coleman.
Raphael Nade rose above a statuesque defence with 15 minutes to play, only to see his header drift wide of the post. Nine minutes from time, Daish made a second change, with Neil Barrett making a welcome return to action replacing Mark De Bolla at the heart of the midfield.

Albion?s wingers decided to use some trickery and swap flanks, causing problems for both McPhee, playing at right back, and Opinel. Corbett provided a cross from the left, which eluded all in the penalty area other than Gilroy, who slotted home from 10 yards past Cronin, denying the Fleet a return to Kent with all three points.

TEAM: Cronin, Hawkins, McCarthy, Opinel, McPhee, De Bolla (Barrett 81), Bostwick, Moore, Long, Nade, Hastings (Luke Coleman 73). Subs not used: French, Liam Coleman, Starkey.

Attendance:
1,594

Report by Rachel Willett

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