Ex-Southend United youth Jamie Forshaw gave the Fleet a narrow victory over a decent Leyton Orient side.
And he scored two goals that will surely get him noticed by manager Liam Daish. The youngster, who was released by the Roots Hall club in May having also been on Norwich City’s books and who featured for Scotland’s U16 side, struck six minutes after half-time after reaching a rebound before Orient keeper Glenn Morris.
It proved to be the winner in a match in which the Fleet fought back to inflict the London side’s first pre-season defeat. Jason Demetriou gave Orient the lead from close range on the quarter-hour mark, finishing off a good, incisive move. But 20 minutes later the Fleet were back in the game, Forshaw catching the eye with a useful turn and better finish from 15 yards.
The O’s regained the lead when the Fleet defence let a through ball evade them and former Colchester and Northampton striker Scott McGleish slotted past Lance Cronin. But the advantage was short-lived when Michael West pounced on some lackadaisical defending and rounded the goalkeeper to equalise.
Forshaw’s winner was the best moment of the second-half for the home fans in the 770 crowd as their side remained composed enough despite seven substitutions to see off the League One side.
The Fleet side also included Forshaw’s fellow Southend scholar James Lindle, while now-almost-familiar faces such as Gavin Heeroo, Ishmael Welsh and Michael Kamara got another chance to shine. Ex-Peterborough youth Scott Ginty came on as substitute, as did Luke Hickey (Fisher), ex-Gills youth team captain Charlie Howard, midfielder Liam Hook (Nottingham Forest) and striker Jimmy Froud (Hendon).
TEAM: Cronin, Kamara, Charles, Pooley, Collins, Howard, Forshaw, Welsh, West, Heeroo, Lindle.