Fleetlands start run of four successive cup ties with five-goal victory over Clanfield
Fleetlands began a run of four successive cup ties with a five-goal spanking of Hampshire Premier League rivals Clanfield.
Dual-signed Horndean striker Mark Smith struck twice as the Coptermen opened up a 4-0 lead inside the opening half-hour of a Hampshire FA Trophy tie at Lederle Lane.
Midfield pair Stu Maunder and Leigh Shadbolt were also on target and, at that stage, the visitors must have feared conceding even more goals than when they were blitzed 6-2 on the same ground in a league game in mid-September.
But the hosts could only add one more goal, sub Owen Sims making it 5-0 10 minutes from time, before Clanfield replied through Adam Smalley and sub Elliot Sills.
Sims was making his first appearance under caretaker boss Chris Blakeman, having played for Woking in a 7-0 midweek FA Youth Cup defeat against AFC Wimbledon.
Experienced keeper Derek Harding was also back in the starting XI while new centre half Lee Owens made his second start, having been handed a debut in the previous Wednesday’s 4-0 league loss at a strong Moneyfields Reserve side.
‘I was really pleased with how we played in the first half (against Clanfield),’ said Blakeman, who is in charge until the end of the season.
‘It’s always good to bounce back after a defeat with a victory. I was pleased with our performance at Moneyfields - we equipped ourselves well for long periods. They scored two goals towards the end of each half.’
With top scorer Kelvin Robinson having joined Wessex Leaguers Hamble Club, Blakeman started with a front two of Smith and ex-Gosport Borough forward Alpay Ali.
Virtually the same squad that beat Clanfield will be on duty for Wednesday’s Portsmouth Senior Cup visit to divisional rivals Locks Heath, where defenders Luke Heard and Shawn Benjamin come back into contention.
Fleetlands travel to lower division Meon Milton this weekend in the Hampshire Premier League Cup, and next Tuesday visit Wessex Division 1 leaders Folland Sports in the Russell Cotes Cup.