Fleet cruised to a win at the Paddy Power Stadium, effectively wrapping things up in the first half against a shot-shy Farnborough and in doing so moved up another place in the Vanarama Conference South.
Steve Brown kept faith with Brandon Hall in goal and the only changes from the side that thrashed Hythe were the return of Billy Bricknell in place of Matt Godden and Anthony Acheampong for Shane Huke. And Fleet began confidently, penning Farnborough into their own half with Aiden Palmer and Anthony Cook making things happen down the left flank.
But for all the territorial possession, there was little action in the home box and the game had gone a little flat before Fleet picked things up with a goal. Matt Johnson was clattered on the edge of the box on 19 minutes and Daryl McMahon floated a free-kick into the box. Bricknell rose to glance the ball over Grant Smith and into the goal.
Fleet gave their hosts no quarter after that and pressed their opponents with some powerful forward play. From another McMahon free kick, played left to Palmer, Cook eventually got on the end of it and saw his header palmed away by Smith. Acheampong then had a deft header hacked off the line though Farnborough had it well covered with four men standing along the goalline.
Fleet’s aerial prowess in the final third was too much for Farnborough and Bricknell beat Smith to a high ball but saw his effort hacked out of the box by Farnborough skipper Lewis Ferrell. The visitors were also threatening from set pieces so it was no surprise when the second goal arrived courtesy of one. It arrived six minutes before half-time after Dean Rance was clattered on the edge of the box and McMahon again varied his delivery, rifling in a low shot that cannoned off a defender to wrong-foot the goalkeeper and send Fleet in at the break two goals to the good.
Farnborough could only improve in the second half and they did, with Fleet taking some time to get going after the restart. On 50 minutes the home side had their first real attempt on goal when Courtney Fearn sprayed a fine pass across the field to Phil Page who found space down the left and hit a dangerous low shot along the face of goal that Hall was relieved to see fly past the post.
Boro continued to look hungry and if they’d got a goal might well have made more of a game of it, but Hall denied them that chance on the hour mark, pushing Dan Bennett’s shot around the post for a corner. That was really the end of the home side’s resurgence, however, and Fleet came back into it. Bricknell wriggled free down the right but his cross into Charlie Sheringham’s feet was intercepted while McMahon went close with another free-kick.
Godden replaced Bricknell on 63 minutes and three minutes later Fleet wrapped the game up. Some nice movement and exchange of passes between Johnson and Joe Howe, a partnership down the right that looks to be paying dividends for the Fleet, saw the ball fall to Godden who played in Dean Rance and he hooked a shot into the corner of the goal, out of Smith’s reach.
Sheringham was almost presented with a goal courtesy of a mix-up between Adam Brice and Ollie Treacher as they both crashed into each other but the Fleet striker had his back to goal and could only sent a shot off target. Godden then fired over after Acheampong cheekily back-heeled the ball into his path on the edge of the box but Fleet were home and dry by then, a deserved three points from a convincing, passing game.
TEAM: Hall, Howe (Sessegnon 79), Palmer, McMahon, Acheampong, Clark, Johnson, Rance, Sheringham (Sanderson 84), Bricknell (Godden 63), Cook. Subs not used: Edwards, Huke