Fleet signed off from pre-season preparations with a goalless draw at home to Dover Athletic, seven days before the real thing gets under way at Nuneaton.
Giving a hint, perhaps, to his starting XI for that game, Liam Daish omitted any trialists from his line-up, with Ben Greenhalgh, Jay Folkes, Leon Wilson and Sam Akinde on the bench. For Dover, former Fleet favourite Calum Willock started on the bench but Ian Simpemba was in their starting line-up.
Moses Ashokodi was denied in the opening exchanges as the two sides more than matched each other but Dover’s midfield gradually began to impose itself. Simpemba did well to break up an attack involving Nathan Elder and Chris Sessegnon fired wide for the visitors.
Paul Lorraine went off with a knock to be replaced by Phil Walsh with Dover edging proceedings, winger Ricky Modeste – last seen playing for Chelmsford in our play-off semi-final – twice denied with good saves from Preston Edwards.
Fleet came good in the latter third of the game though by that time the fluency had been broken up by an over-fussy referee. There was time for a Calum cameo as Willock got a run-out but, by and large, fans and players will be only too happy to see the back of pre-season and the kick-off for season 2012-13.
TEAM: Edwards, Stone, Howe, Ada, Lorraine, Enver-Marum, Barrett, Bellamy Phipp, Ashikodi, Elder. Subs: McNeill, Folkes, Walsh, Blake, Wilson, Greenhalgh, Williams, Azeez, Akinde.