Onome Sodje scores one and creates another as Fleet are denied a point by an offside flag…
EBBSFLEET UNITED 1-2 YORK CITY
It was predictable that Onome Sodje would return to Stonebridge Road in the York starting XI and pull something out of the bag for the visitors this afternoon, but his match-winning contributions were in sharp contrast to the Fleet’s efforts as the home side only gathered steam in the last quarter of the game.
Sodje struck on 26 minutes, rising unchallenged in the centre of the penalty area above the Fleet defence to glance home Martyn Woolford’s cross from the left. Sodje returned the favour in the opening minutes of the second half as he ran onto Manny Panther’s pass, outwitted both the advancing Lance Cronin and the covering defender, and hit the ball against the post. As the Fleet fans readied themselves in celebration at the miss, the rebound fell kindly for an unmarked Woolford to guide into an empty net.
With much of the second half remaining, the Fleet struggled to find any momentum until the arrival of Liam Coleman on 75 minutes and a switch to 4-3-3. The tactical change paid dividends three minutes later, Neil Barrett’s cross finding Raphael Nade on the edge of the box and he nodded the ball down for the advancing Chris McPhee to lash a half-volley with enough venom to send the spray flying from the bulging net.
Now the Fleet began to fire on all cylinders and had a host of opportunities, with Luke Moore, Stacy Long and McPhee all coming close before a lengthy injury to York’s Mark Robinson took the sting out of the game. But with six minutes of added time to be played, the Fleet camped in the York half, the last of a succession of free kicks looking as if it had paid dividends when McPhee sent in a ball that was only half-cleared as far as Peter Hawkins who skipped past a defender and slid the ball into the corner. Stonebridge Road erupted but the linesman’s flag was raised, either against Neil Barrett or Hawkins himself, a peculiar enough decision given that Hawkins had to go past a player to score.
It left the Fleet feeling they had been robbed, which perhaps was the case – but that would be to forget an opening 75 minutes when they weren’t positive enough to earn at least a point.
TEAM: Cronin, Ricketts, Opinel (Coleman 75), Smith, Hawkins, Bostwick (Barrett 64), McPhee, Moore (Akinde 88), Long, Purcell, Nade. Subs not used: French, Starkey.