Rapid attack pays off for Fleet

Dennis Kutrieb had attack on his mind from the first whistle and it seems his players were tuned into that wavelength too as Fleet scored with their first attack and had racked up three by the midway point of the first-half.

“We said we must straight away be on the front foot,” the Fleet manager told BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Cole. “Be on their toes in the first 10-15 minutes because we knew Welling will have the respect, they will sit a little bit deeper. That’s what we expected and that’s what we prepared for so of course we said we want to be on the front foot to attack them straight away.”

An early goal wasn’t new territory for the Fleet, so Kutrieb was pleased when one became two in quick succession.

“I can’t say that I was really happy after the first goal because the other first goals early in the game against Eastbourne and Hungerford didn’t help us so much,” he said. “But today was much better because we were still on the front foot to score the second and the third one.

“The first 45 minutes were very impressive but it’s tough to say for me if it was the best performance [of the season]. If you score your goals it always looks good but to be honest I saw a few situations in the first half where Welling were not too bad even when 5-0 down. They had a few parts of the game, a few minutes where they passed the ball around where we didn’t do our pressing in the right way. They couldn’t damage us but we can’t get carried away because of the result. Especially in the second half you could see when you haven’t the same determination like in the first-half then you score only one goal. Of course it was a very impressive first half because of five goals but I wouldn’t say it was by far the best performance.”

Similar to the Tonbridge game, where Fleet also scored one second-half goal after a vintage first-half display, Kutrieb accepted that players will sometimes ease up – with one eye on Tuesday’s game – though he had no complaints about the efforts after the break.

“In general players always do what they have to do and nothing more – that’s not in a disrespectful way because I really appreciate my group and I know exactly what they are about,” the Fleet boss explained. “It’s not a bad performance but a ‘lean-back’ situation. But I couldn’t see it second half, I think there were a few unlucky things where we could have scored more goals so it was not like we didn’t do more. The second-half was a good game, it was exactly what I wanted to see and at least we got [another] goal. But when you play Tuesday again, another big derby, and when you have the next three Tuesdays upcoming, of course in the head of the players when you’re 5-0 up in half-time, you think okay, calm down a little bit because we have to go again.”

Kutrieb made only two enforced changes to his side for the Welling game and revealed he wanted as strong a team out as possible to ensure the visitors’ recent good run didn’t come back to bite the Fleet.

“Normally I would rotate a little bit more, three, four or five players,” he said. “Today not too much because we don’t take them lightly. They had some great results in the last weeks since Peter Taylor’s been there and if you don’t take care, you can get a big problem, you can get damaged in a big way. We didn’t want to have that and so we approached it this week saying we don’t rotate too much. Sefa [Kahraman] was a little bit ill over the last few days and we had to make a change for [Jack] Paxman because he was suspended but not too [many changes] as I would normally do.”


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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

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