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On This Day: April 10th

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It’s Good Friday and with Boreham Wood the intended visitors, we instead look back again to previous April 10th encounters, the most recent of which was a memorable display under the lights against Wrexham that put us into the driving seat towards the play-offs…


10th April 1955
Fleet 2-2 Cheltenham Town
Just two months into his Fleet career, ex-Arsenal legend Jimmy Logie was drawing in the crowds at Stonebridge Road as some 3,769 – the largest league crowd of the season – flocked to see their struggling side take on high-flying Cheltenham. Fleet boss Bill Whatley – who had played for Northfleet United before the war – was on his last legs as manager with his side destined to finish bottom of the league despite the skills of Logie. Fleet were a force enough on home soil, unbeaten in their last 14 matches at Stonebridge Road and that run included this 2-2 draw, George Stewart getting both Fleet goals. (Incidentally, Stewart – now aged 99 and believed to be alive still – is likely to be the oldest surviving Fleet player if confirmed.) Despite recovering from a horrific start to the season, bottom place for manager Whatley was the end for him and he was sacked at the end of the campaign, making way for ex-England international Lionel Smith who would build a championship-winning side over the next three years.

10th April 1993
Fleet 4-1 Burnham
After losing seven of nine games through February and March 1993, blowing their promotion hopes in the process, Fleet got back to winning ways in April but had left it too late to catch Sittingbourne and Salisbury. Nevertheless, this was a comprehensive win over Burnham, goalscoring machine Steve Portway adding yet another hat-trick to his tally as he headed towards an amazing 60 goals for the season. Inevitably, the other goal came from his strike partner Micky Cotter in front of a 597 crowd at Stonebridge Road.

10th April 2018
Fleet 3-0 Wrexham
Not many saw this coming in the 1,376 crowd, least of all Wrexham who were looking to revitalise their own failing play-off hopes. But with this clinical display, Fleet enhanced their own prospects at the expense of the Welsh side but couldn’t break down the league’s tightest defence in a cagey first-half. That all changed five minutes into the second half when Corey Whitely latched on to Jack Powell’s defence-splitting pass to fire home at the near post. Wrexham had an effort cancelled out for offside in a free-flowing game and Fleet wrapped it up in the last seven minutes. First, substitute Norman Wabo held up a ball for Luke Coulson to find Danny Kedwell and his strength and purpose tore through the Wrexham defence for 2-0. In time added on, Coulson accepted Wabo’s assist after the loanee robbed possession in his own half and he swept into view of the goal and thundered a shot into the top corner for a third against a shellshocked Wrexham. Fleet moved five points and two places behind their seventh-placed visitors with this win but had two games in hand and continued to defy the odds to claim a play-off berth.

Corey Whitely broke the deadlock as Fleet put three past a mean Wrexham defence

Other games on April 10th:
1948 Bath City 3-0 Fleet (Att: N/A)
1950 Bedford Town 4-0 Fleet (Att: N/A)
1954 Fleet 1-2 Gloucester City (Att: 1,740) / Cullum
1965 Ashford Town 2-3 Fleet (Att: 248) / Jest, Lloyd, Roche
1971 Fleet 1-1 Hastings United (Att: 1,052) / R. Hall
1973 Bexley United 0-1 Fleet (Att: 456) / OG
1976 Grantham Town 2-2 Fleet (Att: 858) / L. Hall, Norman
1979 Fleet 0-0 Hastings United (Att: 590)
1982 Fleet 1-1 Stafford Rangers (Att: N/A) / Marriner
1999 Heybridge Swifts 3-2 Fleet (Att: 268) / Callinan, Cooper
2001 St Albans City 0-2 Fleet (Att: 233) / Owen, Smith
2004 Telford United 1-1 Fleet (Att: 1,746) / Sidibe
2008 Halifax Town 1-0 Fleet (Att: 1,063)
2010 Rushden & Diamonds 2-0 Fleet (Att: 1,440)

Pl: 17 / W: 5 / D: 6 / L: 6

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