Jordan Collins returns but the Fleet are rolled over by the Stones in Kent Senior Cup…
The Fleet’s final chance of silverware this season went south tonight as Maidstone United eased to victory over a largely second-string home side. But the spine of the Fleet side was strong enough with Saturday’s goal hero Leon Crooks starting alongside the likes of Stefan Bailey, Michael West, Ishmael Welsh and Gavin Heeroo. Long-term absentee Jordan Collins was also in the starting line-up.
The Stones, buoyed by their reinstatement in the FA Trophy, brought a few ex-Fleet places back to their former stomping ground, including Jamie Turner, Peter Hawkins, Jay Saunders and, on the bench, James Pinnock.
It was a decent opening spell for the Fleet as several of the younger players such as Chris Henry and Scott Ginty looked keen to impress but that was as good as it got. Once the visitors drew first blood on the half-hour mark, Lynden Rowland scoring past Matt Lamprell, the Fleet rarely looked interested enough to mount a comeback.
Rowland made way for Pinnock at half-time and the Stones boosted their attacking options by also introducing former Margate hotshot Danny Hockton. But it was from midfield they all but sealed the game on 66 minutes, Saunders celebrating his return to Stonebridge Road with a goal. And the visitors deservedly made the game safe 11 minutes later when Hockton made it 3-0.
Chris Henry got a consolation for the Fleet 10 minutes from time with a little help from a deflection but by then any thoughts of Kent Cup progression were long gone. And after Forest Green’s victory in the league put the Fleet back in the bottom four, it will be there that minds will need to focus come Saturday.
TEAM: Lamprell, Heeroo, Collins, Crooks, Springett, Henry, Bailey, West, Wills, Ginty, Welsh. Subs: Salmon, Forshaw, Sherlock, Phipps, Hagan