Fleetlands striker Robinson scores hat-trick of headers after turning down move to the Wessex League
Kelvin Robinson took his seasonal tally into double figures after turning down a move to the Wessex League.
The former Fareham Town striker used his head to collect a hat-trick as Fleetlands thrashed lowly Winchester Castle 5-0 in the Hampshire Premier League Senior Division.
All Robinson’s goals - taking his tally to 10, the highest in the top flight - were headers. Those goals have come in seven matches, after he netted 12 times in 12 Senior Division appearances in 2020/21, his debut season at Lederle Lane.
The forward had turned down an approach from two divisions higher Hamble Club in the build-up to the game, which saw Fleetlands leap up to second place after Denmead were held to a draw by lowly Clanfield.
‘Kelvin’s in confident mood - he set himself a target of four goals (against Winchester) and he got three,’ said Coptermen boss Rich Bessey.
‘He’s said he wants to score 10 goals in September - he needs to score seven in three games now, it’s a big ask.
‘It was a fantastic offer from Hamble, they’re a great club, but it wasn’t the right move for Kelvin.
‘We seem to be getting interest every week, and I’m sure that will continue now he’s scored a hat-trick.
‘It’s nice to see other clubs are interested in our players. It shows we must be doing something right and the players are doing something right.’
Though Robinson is in form up front, Fleetlands’ defence is also doing well - having recorded three successive clean sheets since Bessey switched from three at the back to a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
Woking U23 captain Owen Sims and Sam Chandler, a regular with Fleetlands’ reserves last season, had been playing at full-back. But against Castle veteran Phil Archbold (left back) and Jack James (right back) - both Wessex League title winners with Petersfield - started instead.
‘Jack’s got great experience and Phil’s 43 but he’s got unbelievable fitness levels.’
In another tactical switch, skipper Tommy Woodward was moved out of central midfield and deployed on the left against Castle.
He grabbed his first goal of 2021/22 and Bessey said: ‘It was the best game Tommy’s had in this or last season. He was rolling back the years to when he played on the wing at Fareham.
‘He would prefer to play centre midfield, but he was very effective on the left.’
Glynn Cooper completed Fleetlands’ second nap hand in eight day - they had won 5-1 against Sway the previous Saturday.
Bessey was keen to salute his assistant manager Chris Blakeman and fitness coach Howard Dove for their behind-the-scenes support and work.
‘I’ve found it quite stressful recently with player availability,’ he explained, ‘and those two have kept me sane. They’re outstanding - they have been my men of the match in the last three games.’
Bessey said he will ‘mix things up’ when Fleetlands travel to Liss in the HPL Cup next weekend.