Fleet 3-0 Chippenham Town v Ebbsfleet United Football Club


It was a story of two second-half substitutes as Toby Edser scored on his Fleet debut and Darren McQueen picked up where he left off with a Fleet shirt to seal the result in the final 10 minutes. .

And that was not to overshadow Greg Cundle’s first-half contribution which broke the deadlock as Chippenham played much of the final hour of the game with 10 men after Mat Jones was sacked.

It was a result that put Fleet at the top of the season’s opening table and while Dennis Kutrieb wouldn’t mind it, it gave fans a happy song to sing on opening day.

The fleet boss opted for an unchanged squad after his side’s last friendly demolition at Herne Bay last week.

The match was only in its third minute when Fleet fans thought they were ahead as Rakish Bingham played Poleon on goal. He took the ball past goalkeeper Will Henry but was pushed back and despite Greg Cundle finding Bingham with the return pass, Chippenham blocked and cleared.

A tumultuous, labyrinthine run from Omari Sterling-James in seven minutes took him through several blueshirts and the final tackle dropped him to the ground, but the referee dismissed Fleet’s appeals for a penalty.

Chippenham’s first striker came in the 14th minute when Noah Coppin showed a change of pace to get a clearance from his redshirted pursuers but flashed his effort on Mark Cousins ​​when he could have done better by getting closer to the target.

Coppin fired another high and wide after Cundle was unlucky enough to receive a yellow card for what seemed little more than a clip on Luke Russe.

It was Russian whose carefully weighed ball for Alefe Santos could have given the visitors the first goal, but Mark Cousins ​​was well behind that and on the very next attack Bingham burst onto the pitch and fired low at the far post in response.

A challenge from Will RIchards on Craig Tanner did not warrant a warning to the wrath of fans in the main stand and when Tanner was again cut down the halfway line there was more noise from frustrated fans. But this time the ref played a great advantage and Cundle was on Tanner’s pass in a flash to cut and shoot past Henry for 1-0.

Six minutes later, Tanner’s persistence nearly created another goal as he raced past his wits to get an effort on target but Henry made the save. On the other flank two minutes later, Poleon ran over Bingham’s pass and entered the box but sent his shot in front of the goal.

There was controversy in the 37th minute when Sterling grilled Mat Jones who fired him back, but the Fleet winger continued to be taken down by Pablo Martinez in the box. The referee gave the first foul outside the box, denying the penalty for the second inside challenge, and subsequently sent Jones off for his infraction.

The second half was a calmer affair early on with Chippenham’s 10 men packing their back lines and looking for a half chance on the counter-attack. Luke O’Neill found Bingham with a through ball in the box in the 48th minute, which the No.9 spun around and on target, but it was saved and instances in front of goal were at a minimum after that.

Cundle had a third shout for a penalty just after the hour mark after Martin’s push into midfield freed him but nothing was given and then Poleon just couldn’t get the end of Tanner’s pass behind the Bluebirds defense.

It signaled that Fleet was picking up the pace and of course the second goal came in the 67th minute when Tanner’s more pressing play and persistence in the box resulted in a dangerous ball from Cundle alongside the penalty area. Poleon had a shot blocked on the way to goal but the ball showed just enough for substitute Edser to race into space to fire into an empty net.

Fleet looked unlikely to give up after that and Sterling’s neat turn produced a good shot that wasn’t far off as Christian N’Guessan’s driving run took him from midfield to the penalty area , but he was kicked out to make a killer touch when he arrived.

A third goal should have come nine minutes from time when Bingham’s quick-wittedness moved the ball quickly towards Edser who sent an early pass to Poleon. He moved behind the last defender but deflected his shot just wide of the post as Henry came out to challenge.

The third goal, however, came in the 83rd minute. And it was Bingham again with the assist, hoisting a long ball to McQueen whose pace took him to the flank, into the box and those earlier striking instincts at the Plow End did not let him down as he found the goal via inside the far post.

It was a convincing victory for Fleet on matchday one and although Chippenham played with 10 men for one game, it didn’t detract from the performance of the players or the reaction of the home faithful.

CFEU: Cousins, O’Neill, Martin, Solly, N’Guessan, Wright (Edser 62), Cundle (McQueen 75), Sterling-James (Chapman 84) Tanner, Bingham, Poleon. Subs: Finney, Haigh
CTFC: Henry, Jones, Hamilton, Martinez, Richards, Santos, Gunner (Palmer-Houlden 55), Hanks, Coppin, Russian, Parker (Simpson 43). Subtitles:
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