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Fleet strive to stop Saints’ march

Fleet will aim to get back to winning ways on Non-League Day as they entertain yet another promoted side. Entry for Under 16s to the PHB Stadium is free as the Conference and Vanarama look to overhaul the attendance record across the league, created in 2012.

Daryl McMahon doesn’t begin his suspension until September 8 so is available for the Fleet, who are waiting on the fitness of Michael Corcoran. Aiden Palmer could be in line for a recall following Chris Sessegnon’s injury last Saturday at Basingstoke. Dean Rance now has a week or two’s full training behind him and will be in contention for a place too, with the midfielder yet to appear at all this season other than on the bench.

Steve Brown is obviously keen to return his players to winning ways, having been disappointed to lose last Saturday’s clash at Basingstoke. “To come away pointless and goalless was hard to take,” he said. “But now it’s about mental strength moving forward and being a bit more ruthless.” Having been able to muster his troops in three training sessions this week, the Fleet boss has been encouraged by the response with players still having to prove their worth for selection – something Brown is mindful of beyond tomorrow’s game when McMahon’s suspension means having to rethink a midfield that has a fit Tommy Fraser and Dean Rance back in the frame.

Fleet have conceded only one goal at home since February so it’s clear to the boss where his team need to improve, hence his call for a more ‘ruthless’ streak to address the concerns of three blank games in a row.

The opposition

St Albans have won three and lost three in a solid start for the highest-placed ‘new boys’ in the Vanarama Conference South. The Saints have made a number of Conference South-quality signings over the summer, including Joe Welch from Bromley, Lee Clarke from Welling and Loick Pires. In striker John Frendo, they have a goalscorer who has racked up more than 100 goals in three seasons and he’s ably assisted by Steve Wales and attacking midfielder James Comley. Loan signing Sean Shields from Dagenham has also returned to the club, fresh from experience in League Two.

The visitors lost 4-2 at home to Sutton last weekend but missed a penalty and hit the bar so, like the Fleet, will be out to right the wrongs of what they perceive as some ill luck.

Skipper Ben Martin will be known to a number of Fleet players, having played alongside Anthony Acheampong in the Welling side that won this division two seasons ago, as well as Anthony Cook with whom he played for Chelmsford – and against the Fleet in the 2010-11 play-offs. Goalkeeper Welch, of course, was birthday boy Preston Edwards’ understudy here two years ago and played for Bromley against us on several occasions last season while midfielder Sam Corcoran – though he is missing through injury – played a couple of trial games at Stonebridge Road on his release from Colchester.

Head to head

Venue Matches W D L Goals + / –
Home 12 7 2 3 20 – 12 +8
Away 7 5 0 2 11 – 5 +6
Total 19 12 2 5 31 – 17 +14

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