Preview: Easter Monday’s maths class

Fleet pay a visit to the Aspect Arena this Bank Holiday Monday with a scenario not dissimilar to a meeting between the clubs almost exactly eight years ago.

Back in April 2014, Fleet went to Concord seeking to confirm a place in the play-offs and here we are in April 2022 under the same circumstances. In 2014, a late Preston Edwards penalty save and superb strikes from Anthony Cook and Daryl McMahon secured the play-offs for the Fleet in the penultimate game of that campaign. This season, a point would achieve the same result with four matches to spare.

Cundle and Egan, both currently working their way back to fitness, scored the goals that beat Concord last time out

It was 2016 the last time Fleet were hosted by the Beachboys, although there have been three meetings at the Kuflink Stadium since then. This season’s clash was a close-fought affair with Greg Cundle’s late strike proving the difference in a 2-1 win against a Concord side who named Franklin Domi on the bench, the QPR defender now of course likely to be in the opposite dugout this time around.

It was defensive discipline that made Concord such a hard nut to crack back in December but the Beachboys will have to do without their goalscorer that day, the impressive Lewis Simper having returned to Cambridge United.

In his place, Concord have the experienced Ben Williamson, signed from Dover. The tall striker has previously featured against us for the likes of Eastleigh and Bromley. There aren’t too many other additions to a fairly settled Concord side though new blood in the form of ex-Maidstone midfielder Nana Kyei from Hungerford Town joins Williamson in the squad. Kyei, with six goals this season, is one of Concord’s attacking threats but most of their goals come from midfield with the experienced Danny Green on 12.

Intriguingly, the Fleet aren’t the only ones looking for a point this Easter Monday. Concord’s 1-0 win at Braintree on Saturday makes them all but mathematically safe from relegation – and a point or more can make that an absolute certainty.

And while games are running out, Concord aren’t exactly far short of an unlikely play-off berth – while they look to secure mathematical safety, at the same time they lie only five points off seventh place and they have a game in hand.

Concord are unbeaten at home in their last five matches and you have to go back to Maidstone’s 5-1 win at the end of January to find the last time the Beachboys lost a game on home soil. They also have some impressive victories at the Aspect Arena, with wins over Dorking, Dartford, Eastbourne, Havant and St Albans to their name.

This will be Fleet’s fifth visit with two narrows wins plus a draw and defeat to Canvey Island’s other club since 2014.


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