Fleet waltzed into the quarter-finals of the Kent Senior Cup by hitting their hosts for six as Steve Brown’s squad hit top gear at the Woodstock this evening. After Daryl McMahon and Andy Pugh both saw efforts go astray, the visitors took the lead just before the quarter-hour mark, Alex Osborn nodding home a cross from the flanks.
An injury to Pugh on 26 minutes, and not long after that another to debutant Grant Basey, didn’t unduly disturb Fleet’s impetus, however, and they extended the lead on the stroke of half-time, Ben May reacting first to McMahon’s rebounded free-kick.
Basey succumbed to his knock at half-time, and was replaced by Paul Lorraine, while Anthony Cook relieved Dominic Green on the wing. Sittingbourne had their own injury problems at the beginning of the second half and for their part, Fleet looked more relaxed with a two-goal cushion. Cook supplied a well-worked goal number three on 67 minutes, McMahon with the assist, before Tom Loynes pulled one back for the home side six minutes, an excellent swinging shot from 15 yards too much for Brandon Hall.
There was still time for a glut of Fleet goals in the final 10 minutes, first May slotting home substitute Billy Bricknell’s pass and on 84 minutes, Cook’s trickery creating space for Osborn to score his second from close range. And deep into time added on, Bricknell produced the icing on the cake, keeping his head to fire home past goalkeeper Patrick Irankunda for 6-1.
It was as much a response as Steve Brown could have expected after he expressed his disappointment with last Saturday’s second half and the perfect tonic ahead of a testing trip to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
TEAM: Hall, Howe, Palmer, Sankofa, Basey (Lorraine 46), McMahon, Rance, Osborn, Pugh (Bricknell 26), May, Green (Cook 46).