Fleet made it two wins in succession on their travels as they eased past Staines Town to rise to third in the table and open up a little more daylight ahead of the likes of Dover, Chelmsford and Eastleigh.
Calum Willock missed his first game of the season with a hamstring problem, giving Jacob Erskine a recall to the starting 11 while Giannoulis Fakinos made his full debut at the expense of Michael West.
As seems to be par for the course at this stage of the promotion campaign, the early exchanges were hardly noteworthy as the Fleet kept things tight without risking much in the way of adventurous play. And when Erskine hobbled off as early as the 15th minute, Fleet fans might have wondered where their chief attacking threat was going to come from.
The opening period was almost devoid of chances though Ricky Shakes looked lively and Fakinos got into numerous good positions as the visitors probed and enjoyed possession without finding the gaps in the Staines back line.
But all that changed wihthin minutes – three to be precise – of the restart as Fleet banished their anxieties with an early strike. Fakinos ran with the ball and played in West with a delightful pass and the Fleet substitute confidently picked his spot to score past Louis Wells.
That gave Fleet the space to breathe easier and they played a confident, occasionally cagey game in midfield as Staines appeared to lack the will to really test their visitors’ defence. But with concrete chances still at a premium, Fleet wrapped things up with 19 minutes left when Ram Marwa and Shakes combined well to feed Tom Phipp and he let fly to the jubilation of the travelling supporters.
Jody Banim made his debut, replacing Fakinos, while third substitute Joe Howe set up a late chance for the onrushing West to make it 3-0 but the Fleet scorer couldn’t connect. It mattered little as Liam Daish’s side celebrated another vital and deserved win to banish their blues of March and cement their place in the top five.
TEAM: Edwards, Stone, Blake, Carew, Easton, Lorraine, Fakinos (Banim 63), Marwa, Erskine (West 15), Shakes (Howe 74), Phipp. Subs not used: Hawkes, Ginty.
Ricky Shakes ran away with Saturday’s man of the match vote. Who stood out tonight? Vote now.