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Match Report Fleet Spurs vs Verwood Town 3-Sep-2011


As Bernie Scott was away sunning himself in Devon today's match report comes from the opposite side of the dug-out.

The omens were not good for Verwood as Luke homer failed a late fitness test on a calf injury which meant a reshuffle of the back four. Still at least our chairman had arrived on time for this game having opted against a detour that was favoured for our last game at Pewsey.

Both teams took a while to settle into the game, in fact both were having more problems with the bobbly pitch than they were with their opponents. Fleet were the first to show with a pacy forward put through for a one-on-one, Lynch was quickly out but the striker shot wide of him and thankfully for Verwood the post as well.

With eight minutes gone we were starting to settle and a good run down the right flank by Smalley saw him cut inside and feed Haskell, he teed up Saxby for a 20-yard strike that nestled in the corner of the Fleet net 0-1.

We were now in our stride and playing some good football. A good cross into the danger area by Smalley was fumbled by the Fleet keeper and Saxby was closing in but couldn't quite take advantage. 13 minutes gone and a cross by Evans was nodded back into the danger area by Haskell and Webb was inches away from connecting. Shortly after, another cross into the box this time from Barnett found Haskell and his header was just wide. Another one-on-one chance for Fleet kept us on our toes, this one was skied and we kept our lead intact.

On 25 minutes Smalley continued his probing down the right and forced a corner. Haskell had been causing the home defence problems with his aerial threat and sure enough he met Dyer's corner with a trademark bullet header from 6 yards giving the keeper no chance 0-2.

Two more chances fell our way before half time. A Saxby volley was surely goal-bound until it stung the backside of a Fleet defender and then Haskell with another lay-off to Barnett who drilled a low-shot just wide of the post. Just before half-time Fleet produced their first shot on target which Lynch dealt with comfortably.

Half-Time 0-2

The second half started in the same quiet fashion that the first did. On 55 minutes a clever flick by Haskell freed Saxby into the box but his low cross was cut out by the keeper. On the hour mark the home team hit a long range shot which Lynch watched sail over the bar, just after this they forced their first corner of the game. A long ball was headed back into the danger area and the tall central defender seemed certain to score but watched his header bounce back off the crossbar.

On 64 minutes Verwood were awarded a free kick some 25 yards from goal. Haskell strode up and curled his shot around the wall and into the bottom corner of the net for his second goal of the game to add to the hat-trick he scored at the same ground in January 0-3.

Our joy was short-lived as two minutes later the Fleet winger made his way into our penalty area and was upended by Evans. The spot-kick was duly converted and the deficit was reduced 1-3.

This seemed to spark Fleet into life and they started to control the game, Verwood at the same time were looking less lively. The midfield was reshuffled with Dyer switching to the middle and Barnet to the flank but this didn't seem to have much effect. White was brought on for Freeman but this was a like for like swap as Freeman had picked up a neck injury.15 minutes remained when a goalbound header for the hosts was claimed underneath the bar by Lynch. Pressure was mounting but Brennan who was enjoying an excellent debut and make-shift defender Brown were starting to form an understanding and were repelling everything that was thrown at them. With minutes remaining a fierce shot on the Verwood goal was well tipped over by Lynch.

This was the last real danger presented to the Verwood goal as the last few minutes were played out mostly in Fleet's half of the pitch. Saxby's good run down the line forced a corner which was headed out by the defender for another corner. This one was drilled in and Haskell was denied a hat-trick when his header dropped wide of the post. The referee blew the whistle to confirm Verwood's fifth consecutive victory on this ground.

Final score Fleet Spurs 1 Verwood Town 3

Report submitted by Steve Jefferis

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