Fleet boss Steve Brown is seeing the fruits of his side’s hard work as a second four-goal showing in successive home games has home supporters daring to dream of bigger things.
A crowd of 956 – well above Fleet’s average for an FA Trophy tie at such an early stage – witnessed a 4-1 demolition of Skrill South pacesetters Bromley that Brown felt was perhaps a little unjust on the visitors.
“They’re a top side, league top scorers and in very good form,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “So we knew what we wanted from our players and they delivered. We spent long spells without the ball, Bromley moved it well, they’ve got some very tricky players and the scoreline might be a little harsh on them at 4-1 but that’s what it is and we’re through.
“At 3-0 it looked from the body language of some of their players that it was job done, but the goal gave them a lift and the substitutions they made, they’d nothing to lose, so we spent a long spell under pressure and panicked a little bit. But it’s still a job very well done against a very good side.”
With reference to the two festive games against the same opposition in a little over five weeks, Brown believed that “psychologically it puts us in a good frame of mind. And it does us good in the dressing room, for the togetherness and unity.
“The work rate of this team when out of possession – I haven’t seen a team work as hard as we do. What I am asking for is a bit more composure when we win the ball back but we’re turning the work ethic into results and the response I’m getting from every member of the squad is terrific.
“I’ve always felt that we’ve put together a side that will compete. We weren’t picking up results early on but we’re now finding the back of the net from far less opportunities than we were making earlier in the season. So the only difference from then to now is we’re converting more chances on a regular basis. The conversion percentage rate, from fewer chances, is much higher. All this result does today is send a message to the players in our dressing room that we are a good side in this league.”
And Brown once again praised the contribution of left back Aiden Palmer who scored his second goal in two games. “Aiden’s goal was a cracking header off a brilliant delivery from Chris Sessegnon, who’d overlapped from right back with Osborn, so it was a wonderfully crafted goal from start to finish. Why Aiden was at the near post… it’s not something we’ve worked on. Only he’ll be able to tell you!”
Refusing to be drawn on his preferences for Monday’s FA Trophy draw, the Fleet manager was more concerned with negotiating the midweek cup tie at Tunbridge Wells. “It’s now a case of focussing on Tuesday’s [Kent Senior Cup] quarter-final, the Trophy draw I’ll focus on when we get to it,” he said. “I don’t care who we get if I’m honest. Obviously you want to play at home and every game that comes our way we’ll do our best to win it. As I’ve said, we take every cup competition seriously and the next game for us is Tunbridge Wells and I’ll put out a side to win that game.”