Fleet 4-1 Luton Town XI

Lee Martin is in danger of making great goals look simple as he bagged a brace of excellent strikes to help Fleet see off a Luton Town XI at the Kuflink Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Jake Goodman, meanwhile, is not letting his skipper take all the plaudits as the defender notched his second goal in three games, while Jordan Holmes showed his knack for a penalty save was no one-season wonder.

Fleet were prepared to be matched pass for pass by the Championship’s club’s young hopefuls and Luton got off to a good start against a home side adopting a 3-5-2 formation.

Dennis Kutrieb handed starts to Jordan Holmes, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Jack Paxman and Jake Goodman in four changes from the side that won 2-1 v Dover.

With Josh Payne pulling strings in midfield with a steady range of passing, the Fleet steadily grew into the game, the chief threat initially coming from a succession of corners and Lee Martin saw his shot from one such set piece hacked out of the six-yard box in the 15th minute.

A strong run by Luton’s No.10 needed Bobby-Joe Taylor’s block inside the box before Paxman whistled a shot from distance just over.

As he did against Dover on Saturday, Martin chose the half-hour to open his account and this goal bore similarities to that one. The referee played a good advantage, allowing Payne to find Adam Mekki out wide.

Another pass to Ben Chapman was quickly moved on to Rakish Bingham on the edge of the box and he played the ball back to Martin, the former Exeter City player showing how lethal he is from 18 yards with a crisp strike past the goalkeeper.

Fleet have now scored 17 goals in pre-season

Not content with that, Martin made it 2-0 three minutes later with an even better strike. It started life on the right wing again with Mekki, before Martin and Paxman exchanged passes, the former letting fly with an even more precise effort from outside the box.

Mekki went it alone to place another smart shot on target on 35 minutes but hit it at the goalkeeper before Luton wasted a good chance from a promising position inside the box. The visitors had another sight of goal on half-time when their impressive No.10 tried to ghost behind Sefa Kahraman but he was unable to connect to a good cross.

There were no changes for the Fleet at half-time and they started where they’d left off in the first period, Martin’s shot flashing across goal on 47 minutes.

Holmes got a hand to a good run and shot from the No.10 but it seemed Luton must score as the ball rolled towards the goalline, Adebayo-Rowling saving the day with a clearance in the six-yard box. Goodman was then on hand with a similarly important clearance four minutes later.

And Luton’s No.10 continued to impress with another strong, determined surge forward, delivering into the middle on 59 minutes where a shot had Holmes scampering across goal.

Luton got their reward on 61 minutes, set up by their No. 10 whose turn of pace and cross from the left was met by the No.7 to send a first-time effort past Holmes.

But Fleet made it 3-1 within two minutes, Payne’s short corner to Bingham returned out wide and the resulting cross was at a perfect height for Goodman to power a header into the unguarded top corner.

Eight changes for the home side followed a short time later and Luton might have reduced the arrears on 73 minutes when their No.10 – inevitably – was sent tumbling by Will Wood. But the penalty was well judged by Holmes who dived low to his right to make the stop.

Penalty hero Holmes gets his eye in before the season kicks off

Paxman was hurt in a brave block as Luton put the Fleet under a little pressure and Holmes strongly punched away a corner before the home side extended their lead to 4-1.

That arrived on 82 minutes, the move starting and finishing with Trialist No.23. He did very well to stop dead in its tracks a Luton move forward, played a one-two with Iffy Allen down the left and continued his confident run to smoothly fire past the Luton keeper from just inside the box.

Greg Cundle’s pull-back for James Dobson was blocked as time ticked away while Luton had one last chance, their No.17 pulling the trigger on a long ball that Goodman blocked.

Kutrieb’s men formed the manager’s traditional post-match huddle, savouring their 17th goal of pre-season as October draws ever closer.

EUFC: Holmes, Adebayo-Rowling (Trialist No.13, 67), Goodman, Kahraman (Trialist No.23, 67), Taylor (Wood 67), Mekki (Dobson 67), Payne (Egan 67), Chapman (West 67), Paxman, Martin (Allen 67), Bingham (Cundle 67).


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First-Team Squad