Frimley Green 2 Fleet Spurs 1
By Matthew Flude
Match Report by Alex Walker
Frimley were coming into this game looking for a fifth consecutive league win and hoping to maintain their unbeaten home record in the league. Fleet Spurs however were looking to bounce back from their 6-2 defeat at Dorking Wanderers U23s on Tuesday night – but were looking for a repeat of the 4-0 victory they gained over their hosts in the reverse fixture back in October.
Again, Frimley kept a pretty consistent first XI, the only change being Calum Nimmo returning from injury to replace the suspended Tony Trinder after his unfortunate dismissal in the away win at Deportivo Galicia last weekend.
Frimley’s recent good form has been helped by coming out of the blocks fast in their fixtures and today went the same way – Ed McKinlay played Dan Bone through whose shot was closed down by Appleby in the Spurs goal, Leo Medrado’s follow up also saved by the backtracking keeper. The hosts did not have to wait long to get the first goal of the game though. George Bowerman got past a Spurs defender out on the left wing and managed to get the ball into the box for the on-rushing Dan Bone to finish past Appleby at the near post. Frimley Green 1-0 Fleet Spurs.
A quiet period ensued but Frimley were having the better of the possession. A rare foray into the Frimley defensive area saw Spurs win a free kick, but Frimley cleared and the ball fell to Bone inside his own half. He played a superb ball forward to Sam Hamer who found himself bearing down on goal one on one with Appleby. Hamer chipped the keeper who managed to get a touch to slow the ball, which aided a Spurs defender in getting back and heading the ball clear.
Spurs were given a helping hand when a long ball forward ended with a slip in the Frimley defence, Mudonhi capitalising and winning possession before squaring the ball to his strike partner Knowles who calmly took a touch and slotted past the unlucky Chris Harris. Against the run of play, the away side had made it 1-1. Frimley though did not let their heads drop as the next attack proved.
Straight from the restart, the hosts were on the front foot. Bone played the ball to Bowerman out wide who laid it off to Medrado. The forward passed out to the left of the box to McKinlay who had the freedom of the Spurs box and drilled the ball low past Appleby and the home side regained their deserved lead immediately. 2-1 to Frimley.
A couple more chances came for the hosts before half time and you couldn’t argue if they had gone in to the break more than one goal ahead. First, Zac Horkan hit the post from a McKinlay cross after a good passing move by the home team. Into the last 5 minutes of the half Medrado found McKinlay with a ball through the defence, but one on one with the keeper, the scorer of the 2nd goal put his effort wide.
Going into the break, the game stood at Frimley Green 2-1 Fleet Spurs.
Having made a change at half time – Sawkins coming on for Daniell - the second half began with Fleet trying to get back on level terms, Knowles getting through and driving his shot at goal but it was well saved by Harris to keep Frimley in front. Frimley then went down the other end and won a free kick in a promising position. McKinlays effort from that free kick deflected of the wall for a corner, which came to nothing.
The heavens opened and a downpour helped to slow the tempo of the game, but the home side still carved out a few attacks. On the hour, Horkan managed to get down the right before crossing to McKinlay who then passed to Bowerman but his effort went over. A flash point occurred a couple of minutes later when James Scott was sent off for an off the ball incident with Hamer, who was questionably booked as he never retaliated in the slightest.
Not long after this, Bone and Ben Dearlove were replaced by Louis Hibbert and Sean Latimer. Going into the last twenty minutes Frimley were still trying to increase their advantage, but Spurs defence was holding strong. McKinlay having an effort blocked before the ball broke to Nimmo on the edge of the box, but his shot was straight at Appleby in the Fleet goal. After Medrado had a shot blocked behind for a corner, Fleet’s Deane Sumbler was called over and booked by the referee.
The game was becoming niggly as Latimer was also booked for a foul around the halfway line. A chance at either end then occurred – first, Horkan got a pass into McKinlay but Appleby managed to come out and gather the ball. He then released Spurs into an attack of their own, the ball ending up going across the empty goal before Frimley managed to clear. It was the only real chance Fleet had in the half and would have been an undeserved blow if the ball had ended up in the net.
Fleet made a second change of the game when goalscorer Knowles was replaced by Landing Badjie.
But the final ten minutes were all Frimley who had more chances to take the game away from their visitors. James Vass had an effort which he hit over after good work by Bowerman. After this, Appleby was booked for a foul out wide on Latimer, McKinlay delivered the ball into the box to Bowerman, whose headed effort went wide.
In the final minute of the game, probably the best piece of play happened which really did deserve a goal. Hibbert picked the ball up halfway inside his own box, he drove forward before passing to Latimer. The midfielder did not break stride as Latimer touched the ball back through to him leaving the defence standing. But Hibbert was unable to finish as Appleby closed the angle well and saved his effort.
Frimley remain at the top of the table after this win and gained slight revenge for the defeat in the reserve fixture. A week off now is followed by an away trip to Bagshot in the Surrey Premier Cup which will be the fourth time the teams have faced each other this season.
Harris (GK), Horkan, Nimmo, Ward, Vass, Medrado, Dearlove (Hibbert), Hamer, McKinlay, Bone (Latimer), Bowerman.
Man of the match was awarded to Sam Hamer for a performance described as his best in a Frimley Green shirt.