Fleet 2-0 Aldershot Town

Dom and Domi shot the visitors through the heart to secure the first three points of the season under the Kuflink Stadium lights, writes Katie Humphris. And as the scorers’ names suggested, it was a dominant performance, too, from the reds who were buoyed by the largest league gate against Aldershot on this ground.

Dennis Kutrieb made five changes to his starting 11 following Saturday’s defeat against Solihull with Jack Wakely returning to the squad together with Domi, Darren McQueen, Billy Clifford and Ben Chapman. 

The Fleet were awarded an early free kick when Coby Rowe brought down Domi on the edge of the area, earning an early yellow for the Shots man and Luke O’Neill placed a dipping set piece just over. 

There was minimal action in the opening 20 minutes, with both sides enjoying equal possession but the Fleet looked slicker, with plenty of engaging, one-touch football to keep the Shots on their toes.

Domi found himself through on goal but Aaron Jones put a foot in to stifle his effort and goalkeeper Van Stappershoef gathered. The Fleet continued to push for the opener, Toby Edser with a superb run through the midfield to link up neatly with Dominic Poleon, but the Aldershot defence stood strong.

The Fleet kept knocking on the door throughout the opening half-hour and they eventually found a way through, courtesy of a wonder strike from Domi on 31 minutes. Fleet broke out of defence carried by Poleon. He appeared to be obstructed as he tried to dummy the ball around his opponent but it ran free to Domi’s incursion from the right. He skipped a challenge and loosed off a great shot that arced away from the goalkeeper and into the corner. 

On the stroke of half-time, the home side nearly claimed a second. Poleon was on to a chance on the edge of the box and struck a low drive inches off target, summoning ‘oohs’ from the terraces. And then Clifford was just off target as well moments later with a close range effort narrowly over.

Aldershot were restricted to a few huffs and puffs up front but the nearest they came was right at the end of the half, almost creeping in for an equaliser, Aaron Jones sending a long ball forward to Tyler Frost, but Mark Cousins was there to deny him.

Two guesses where this shot ended up…

The Fleet started in lively fashion again in the second half, the standout moment being a McQueen strike that was inches off target.

Aldershot were awarded a free-kick that Lorent Tolaj dropped on to the roof of the net before Poleon showed he was in the mood with a delayed shot, doing well to whistle that off his boot under the attentions of two defenders.

Poleon would find his range moments later, however, with the 67th minute greeting his inevitable first goal of the campaign. A brilliant defensive clearance by Clifford sent the ball flying beyond the Aldershot defence and out to Poleon. Like the two strikes he scored to seal the title against Oxford City last season, the Fleet striker advanced, cutting in towards the box. Closed down by two defenders, he turned, twisted and turned back on himself again to find a gap between keeper and post to hit a rising shot home.

Aldershot seemed out of sorts and strangely toothless in attempts to get back in the game and the Fleet continued to maintain the bulk of possession. The Shots elicited a response in the dying minutes, almost clawing one back in the 87th minute with Ryan Glover setting Frost up for an effort that bounced off the woodwork. A follow-up second strike from distance warmed Cousins’ hands but the Fleet No.1 was in no mood to let slip a second clean sheet.

EUFC: Cousins, O’Neill, Wakely, Martin, Wright, Clifford (Tanner 70), McQueen (Odokonyero 83), Domi, Chapman (Cundle 64), Edser, Poleon. Subs not used: Cissé, Coulthirst.
ATFC: Van Stappershoef, Mnoga, Harfield, Harries, Rowe (Burnett 84), Widdrington (Glover 82), O’Keefe, Frost, Tolaj, Jones, Barham (Stokes 73). Subs not used: Scott, Mullins.
Attendance: 1,561 (321 away)

Man of the match vote…


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