A Louie Soares brace, with another goal for Matt Godden in between, saw a strong Fleet side safely through in the Kent Senior Cup against Welling United tonight.
Liam Daish handed Lucas Menz a start in goal, while Ryan Blake, Ben Greenhalgh – against his old club – and Giannoulis Fakinos also gained rare places in the XI that was otherwise filled out by first-teamers against a Welling side combining first-teamers and fringe players.
Liam Enver-Marum had Fleet’s first chance but found his effort pushed onto the bar by former Stonebridge Road hero Jamie Turner. Fleet were knocking the ball around well but the Welling side was well-marshalled and Jon Main went close with a header, while Menz earned his place with smart saves from Kiernan Hughes-Mason and Ryan Flack.
Soares put the visitors in front five minutes before half-time when he finished a Craig Stone cross after good work down the right by Enver-Marum. Welling, however, were deservedly back in the running within eight minutes of the second half beginning, when Hughes-Mason took on Main’s lay-off to get clear of the Fleet defence and fire the ball home.
The influential Scott Kinch could have put the home side ahead a few minutes later with a header that hit the bar but on 64 minutes Fleet made the most of their escape, Godden – who had earlier shot just wide from a Greenhalgh set piece – arriving at the far post to head home Stone’s second assist of the evening. Chances came and went for both sides, Menz saving from Josh Patrick and then just managing to divert a high ball over his own crossbar, while at the other end Godden fired just wide and Greenhalgh twice had efforts off-target.
Fleet sealed the win at the death, Greenhalgh providing the pass for Soares’ second of the night. Margate or Dartford await in the next round.
TEAM: Menz, Stone, Blake, Ada, Folkes, Bellamy, Fakinos (Phipp 67), Greenhalgh, Soares, Enver-Marum, Godden (Azeez). Subs not used: Edwards, Barrett, Pascal-Johnson