bricknell-weston

Fleet 1-1 Weston-super-Mare

An equaliser eight minutes from time robbed Fleet of three points that seemed on the cards after Billy Bricknell’s 11th league goal of the season had set Steve Brown’s side on a path to victory.

The earlier signing of Anthony Acheampong had not happened in time to alter the team line-up, though Brown made two changes – Dean Rance back from suspension in place of Michael Corcoran while Michael West made way for Alex Osborn.

Once again having beaten the weather through the efforts of the ground staff, Fleet nearly got off to the perfect start within five minutes when Osborn slipped a pass through to Bricknell who eased beyond the Weston defence but fired the ball over the bar.

And on 14 minutes, Fleet had a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead. Clever link-up play involving Chris Sessegnon, Darly McMahon and Osborn ended with a delivery into Ben May. The Fleet striker was perfectly placed but somehow planted a header the wrong side of the post.

Osborn continued to be Fleet’s brightest spark and he was denied at the foot of the post when goalkeeper Lloyd Irish got down to push his shot round the post.

The visitors were playing the ball around confidently in their own half but lacked any real menace up front, their best effort in the opening period an Ollie Knowles shot that was sent well wide from a decent central position. But when Fleet lost possession in the Weston half on 26 minutes, Alex Kington broke swiftly and passed wide to Daryl Grubb whose shot across the face of goal grazed the crossbar.

Two minutes after that, it was the turn of the Weston woodwork to come to the rescue when Cook swung in a free-kick from 20 yards that bounced off the post and was gathered by Irish as Osborn and May raced in to convert the loose ball.

The closing 15 minutes of the half were unremarkable as Fleet lost their forward momentum and struggled to create further openings. And the second half continued in that muted vein until Bricknell produced a goal out of nothing on 56 minutes, firing from distance and hitting the target to the surprise of most inside Stonebridge Road.

And Bricknell wasn’t far away from a second eight minutes later when McMahon’s pass saw him spring the offside trap, advance on Irish but send a low shot just to the right of the post.

Michael Thalassitis entered the fray for the final 20 minutes and straight away slid in to narrowly miss Anthony Cook’s low delivery into the six-yard box. Fleet had a shout for a penalty when Osborn fell under a challenge on the edge of the box but instead of celebrating an opportunity to go 2-0 up, they were pegged back to 1-1.

Again, it was a goal from out of the blue, when a ball in to top scorer Kington was stroked home to give Weston an equaliser they had scarcely looked like getting in the preceding 82 minutes.

Anxious Fleet tried to step things up in the time left to them but in a game where two goals arrived as something of a surprise, a third would have been asking too much.

TEAM: Edwards, Sessegnon, Palmer, McMahon, Lorraine, Sankofa, Osborn, Rance, May (Thalassitis 71), Bricknell, Cook. Subs not used: Hall, Howe, Corcoran, West.
Att: 865

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