It was happy hour at Slough as Fleet’s Martins followed up Rakish Bingham’s first-half equaliser with a couple of their own to take the three points and a fourth successive win on the road.
Fleet fell behind early on but a penalty got them back in the game and with 20 minutes left, the goals that their second-half performance deserved arrived to the delight of the travelling fans.
There was just the one change from Fleet’s last league outing at Chippenham (Craig Tanner in for Alfie Egan) and four from last week’s Emirates FA Cup win (Josh Gould, Joe Martin, Tanner and Dominic Poleon in).
In fine conditions for football, the start wasn’t the fastest tempo. Slough forced an early chance but the opening10 minutes weren’t uncomfortable for either goalkeeper.
Fleet’s first real note of menace came on 10 minutes when Greg Cundle advanced through midfield to find Tobi Adebayo-Rowling marauding down the the right and the No.2 had some space to run into but took his shot first-time and it cleared the near post.
But Fleet were undone in the most unfortunate circumstances on 17 minutes. After Cundle went to ground, having earlier earned a yellow card for simulation, Slough broke upfield and a harmless enough long ball forward bounced up and caught Josh Gould unawares, rising high over his head and leaving Ben Harris room to roll into an unguarded net for the opener.
Fleet tried to respond two minutes later, Cundle’s inswinging corner met by Rakish Bingham’s glancing header and that flashed across goal but wide. A couple more half-chances followed, Adebayo-Rowling just short to a ball in and then Lee Martin’s deep cross to the far post met by Poleon whose knock down to Bingham was fired over from a good position in the box.
Slough were playing with confidence and it needed Ben Chapman to break up another attack before the busy Aaron Kuhl fired a good effort just wide of Gould’s post on 31 minutes.
Six minutes after that Tanner showed great skill to take himself clear of a Slough attack and found Poleon who sprinted on to the pass. The Fleet top scorer did ever so well to keep his feet and beat his man but he lacked support and the ball into the middle was cleared.
Five minutes before the break, however, the visitors were on level terms. Tanner again was the creator, finding Lee Martin who got a yard of pace on his marker Mark Nisbet who subsequently bundled him over. The referee pointed to the spot and Bingham stepped up to fire home his third goal of the season.
Fleet came out with renewed purpose in the second half and forced some early corners. One of those was overhit but Solly was able to retrieve the initiative and found Cundle to the left of the box, his resulting shot hitting the side netting.
And it was Cundle’s ball in from the left on 55 minutes after more great work from Tanner that teed Lee Martin up for another shot on goal but he smacked that one over the bar.
Slough came back with two chances of their own, Scott Davies’ midfield through ball the perfect weight for Saied and Chapman’s equally perfect tackle had to be spot on. Harris was then on hand at the far post to pick up a header from Adebayo-Rowling that lacked power but he hit that wide.
With play switching end to end, Chapman made another great recovery in his own box then popped up to cross for Lee Martin who was forced to move the ball on to Solly, his driven shot a good one but Jonathan North was behind it.
Further Fleet pressure yielded another opportunity as Chapman again supplied Martin but that shot was dragged just wide with the hour mark passed. On 70 minutes, a counterattack led by Poleon eventually gave Adebayo-Rowling space to run and shoot but North saved that.
The Slough keeper was not so fortunate with Fleet’s next attack. Tanner glided his way upfield to find Bingham whose first touch released Lee Martin once again hovering on the edge of the box. Just as it appeared the skipper had taken it too wide past two defenders, he managed to find an extra pocket of space to bury his effort for Fleet’s second.
Goalscorer turned provider seven minutes later when it was a Martin combo for goal number three. Lee toyed with Kuhl before directing a pass into the box and there was Joe Martin to sweep it high and home for his first goal for the club.
That was the margin Fleet needed to start turning on the skill and for a few minutes after the goal they pressed, harried and passed around for a fourth. There was some late drama at the other end as Sefa Kahraman’s back pass seemed to be rolling in past Gould but to the relief of the Fleet clipped the foot of the post as home fans were set to celebrate.
And that was the three points in the bag as Fleet wend their way back home after four victories on their travels and an important Emirates FA Cup game ahead.
EUFC: Gould, Chapman, Kahraman, J.Martin, Adebayo-Rowling (Wood 86), Cundle, Solly, Tanner, L.Martin, Bingham (Paxman 83), Poleon (Egan 75). Subs: Krasniqi, Haigh
STFC: North, Jackman, Grant, Nisbet (c), Togwell, Lench, Harris, Saied (Lawal 58), Hunt, Davies (Derry 77), Kuhl. Subs:Worsfold, Goueth, George