Fleet are now just 90 minutes away from the real thing after Billy Bricknell’s brace helped wrap up a 3-1 victory over Kent neighbours Erith & Belvedere.
Ex-Dover wide man Chris Sessegnon was on the bench but there was no Mat Mitchel-King this evening, the ex-Crewe trialist turning out for Dartford in their game at VCD Athletic. Striker Ben May was missing with a continuation of his back injury – manager Steve Brown not wishing to risk aggravating it in a friendly – and Michael Thalassitis was away on international duty with Cyprus.
With that in mind, Brown opted to lead the line with goal-getter Billy Bricknell and Anthony Cook playing just off him and it paid off within 18 minutes, Bricknell working an opening and Cook slotting home the loose ball with a tidy finish. The game was at a fairly slow pace and it allowed Daryl McMahon to run things in the middle while trialist Dominic Green impressed with his pace down the flank. And McMahon it was who carved out the second goal on the stroke of half-time as he attempted to work the ball over goalkeeper Jack Bradshaw. It came back off the bar but fell kindly for Bricknell who wasted no time in adding to his pre-season goal haul.
And there was no letting up from the former Dover striker as he added his second and Fleet’s third nine minutes into the second half, a fine finish as he met the ball as it was coming down and lobbed audaciously over Bradshaw. Sessegnon saw his first action on the hour mark, though the Deres reduced the arrears – seven minutes later, courtesy of George Benner who for once got the better of a tightly-controlled Fleet defence. McMahon lashed a furious shot from more than 25 yards that crashed off the crossbar as the home side sought to extend their lead but the game petered out with both sides clearly now in a frame of mind for more serious matters.
TEAM: Edwards, Sankofa (Howe 83), Palmer, Rance, Huke, Lorraine (Sessegnon 61), Long (Phipp 71), Green, McMahon, Cook (Fakinos 77), Bricknell. Subs: Hall