Performance far below where it should be, says boss

Garry Hill felt Fleet supporters were let down following his side’s poor defeat to Aldershot Town and will bring the squad in for training tomorrow as a result.

“I felt the supporters have been let down today and the management team,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “Even though we all work together, I think the players have to look at themselves after that performance which was far below where it should be.

“We didn’t win enough personal battles. You see a game and can’t defend players when they haven’t justified or earned that kind of support from the management team. 

“We come in tomorrow and we go from there. We’ve got to get that out of our system straight away, you can’t dwell on it, you can’t wrap players up or cuddle them in a scenario like that.”

Once again, Fleet were undone by cheap goals given away and the manager was bemused by his side’s frailties.

“From our corner, the ball ran away cheaply but the distance in respect of where they picked the ball up from and got in our penalty area and put the ball in the back of the net with ease was very frustrating.

“He’s been very good for us this year, Jamie Grimes, but he’ll be very disappointed with the manner he got brushed aside for the second goal.”

From what should have been a platform on which to build, following the points accrued last weekend, Hill felt his players were second best from the kick-off.

“After a good weekend, showing character against Notts County, going to Boreham Wood and winning and basically having a clear week from last Monday preparing for the game today, I felt [Aldershot] showed a lot more desire than us. They were winning a lot of the 50/50 balls. The signs were there, we were very sloppy early on, several players were giving cheap free-kicks away or miscuing balls. I found it puzzling; football has got that habit of kicking you in the teeth, but after coming off that good weekend with something to build on, we looked like a side that was very nervous. They capitalised on that, they bossed it, we rode our luck several times.”

Aldershot’s penalty came just four minutes after half-time, a period when Fleet have conceded more than once this season.

“They got a cheap penalty,” Hill said. “They moved round Lawrie Wilson very, very easily. The goalkeeper has kept us in the game and you’d think that would give us a spark. I’m very, very disappointed and very frustrated at the moment. 

“You get into players, you try and rally them as a manager but by the same token the players have got to show that desire and I’m disappointed to say that didn’t look there today. I tried to freshen it up, it’s disappointing that you’re taking players off purely because they’d been booked. Alex Lawless and Josh Umerah were no different from any other player out there but there were signs where I thought the referee was very inconsistent and I couldn’t afford to be down to 10 men.”

Fleet did at last rally in the final 10 minutes but Hill believed a late equaliser would have been unjust on Aldershot.

“We had made changes and were trying to get ourselves into positions,” he said. “We got the goal back and there was a spark there, a lift there for the crowd and we still had one or two chances to get an equalising goal which would have been unjust on the day, I’ve no complaints with the result. It’s the first time I can say it this season, collectively as a group they were very disappointing in respect of their performances all the way round.”

Alex Reid played 37 minutes on his debut

One bright spot amidst the gloom was the performance of new signings Alex Reid and Botti Biabi from the bench.

“Alex Reid looked lively, being fair very lively,” Hill said. “It was an ideal opportunity to try and have a look at them – you haven’t got much to lose because you’re losing at that stage of the game. They looked sharp, they fetched sharpness into the final third and when we got the goal back, I thought we might get another, not that we deserved to.”

Listen below.


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Ed Miller

Ed Miller

Ed Miller has been Ebbsfleet United's communications manager and programme editor since 2014 and responsible for the club website since 2007. Contact him on ed.miller@eufc.co.uk

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