Fleet continue their march to the arch on Saturday and after the dust has settled on this round just 156 of the near 700 clubs who entered will still be standing – and some of those entries such as the Manchester giants, Chelsea and Arsenal are probably not even aware the competition has started yet! Fleet have competed in this round on 24 occasions (the last in 2010 v Needham Market, pictured) and have gone through 15 times and lost on nine, below are 10 of those ties – how many can you remember?
1947/48 FLEET 0 DARTFORD 1
A goal after just 5 minutes from Vic Parker – playing only his second game since signing from Erith proved enough to settle a scrappy tie watched by 7,100. His cross shot was deflected into the net by Fleet captain Ken Horrigan and with chances at a premium the Darts held on to win.
1948/49 FLEET 0 DARTFORD 1
A repeat score watched by an even bigger crowd of 8,189 with the Darts going to the other extreme with the winning goal netted by future Fleet favourite Eddie Viles who saw a low cross elude a clutch of players and give him the chance of scoring at the far post on 88 minutes when nearly everyone had settled for a replay.
1952/53 FLEET 2 DOVER 1
A narrow win over the Kent League champions was settled on 83 minutes when Bill McEwan was upended in the penalty area and George Brewster fired in the resultant penalty. It was Brewster who had given Fleet a 13th minute lead before Worthington levelled on 27 minutes. A robust game kept the 5,648 crowd entertained as both sides went close before Brewster struck the decisive goal.
1956/57 SITTINGBOURNE 1 FLEET 0
There was only six minutes on the clock when England amateur International centre forward Jim Paris nipped through the Fleet defence to score the decisive goal for the Kent Leaguers as 5,063 crammed into the Bull Ground to see a full blooded cup tie.
1978/79 DULWICH 0 FLEET 1
Having been held 1-1 at Stonebridge Road the replay at Champion Hill against the in form Isthmians was always going to be difficult and had it not been a brillant performance by Lee Smelt in the Fleet goal defeat would have been certain, instead a tremendous rearguard action was rewarded when Bob Dudman’s long range effort won the day for Fleet.
1987/88 FLEET 2 CARSHALTON 6
A controversial match ended with Fleet taking a pasting from the Isthmian high riders,not helped by Derek Williams dismissal after only 27 minutes. Carshalton were always in control even though they lost goalkeeper Les Cleevely in the second half in a curious incident when the ball went behind the Plough end goal for a goalkick,he then got into a fight with a Fleet supporter which ended with him getting sent off and both he and the fan being arrested by police. Cleevely became something of a pantomine villain for Fleet fans as he was sent off again in his next appearance at Stonebridge Road and received a yellow card on his third appearance.
1989/90 FLEET 0 WYCOMBE 3
The high riding Wanderers had already been held twice by the battling Fleet who had won the toss of venue for a third game, but two hard battles had taken its toll with five first teamers forced out by injury a depleted Fleet still gave a great display before being undone by three goals in the final 10 minutes to put a flattering light on the scoreline for the Conference side.
1998/99 DOVER 3 FLEET 2
Having drawn in a colourless goalless draw on Saturday the midweek replay had much more to recommend it,notably a match winning Joff Vansittart hatrick for the hosts. Jimmy Bullard and a Jimmy Jackson penalty kept Fleet always in with a chance in an entertaining game.
2000/01 FLEET 4 CROYDON 1
Fleet cruised comfortably past fellow Isthmian League opponents after supporters answered an SOS to pump hundreds of gallons of water from the rain-sodden pitch. The hard work was soon rewarded as Craig Wilkins headed a 21st minute opener and Lee Spiller made it 2-0 on 43 minutes. Former Fleet man Ross Edwards put through his own goal on 59minutes and Che Stadhart (66) made it four before an 88th minute consolation from Nick McDonnell.
2010/11 NEEDHAM MARKET 0 FLEET 1
A rare trip to Suffolk for the Fleet saw them narrowly scrape past a spirited Ryman North side. The only goal of the game came on 57 minutes when Tom Phipp volleyed home from the edge of the box in front of 573 more than twice Needham’s average gate.
Other games for Fleet at this stage of the cup (home games in bold)
1946/47 Folkestone W 2-1
1949/50 DOVER W 5-0 (4,800)
1957/58 Whitstable W 3-0(3,000)
1958/59 SITTINGBOURNE W 2-0 (7,200) **
1959/60 Tunbridge Wells W 3-0(2,727)
1962/63 ERITH W 5-0 (3,208)
1979/80 RAMSGATE W 2-1(1,103)**
1983/84 Ashford L 2-3 (517)**
1985/86 BROMLEY L 2-3 (544)
1991/92 Burgess Hill W 1-0 (350)
1993/94 Erith W 1-0 (742)
1994/95 Ashford L 1-2 (890)
1995/96 CARSHALTON W 2-1 (685)
2001/02 Dartford W 2-0 (1,270)
** denotes replay