Saints out to upset Fleet promotion push
THE Saints head to Kent this Saturday looking to cause an upset against promotion chasing Ebbsfleet United.
ADDRESS: Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, Kent, DA11 9BA
Tel: 01474 533796
THE LOWDOWN: Liam Daish’s side currently sit in third place in the table in their first season in Blue Square Bet South after suffering relegation from the Premier Division last season.
Fleet are currently on a four game unbeaten run in the league having last tasted defeat at Weston-super-Mare on March 19.
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After a mixed start to the current campaign the 2008 FA Trophy winners have entrenched themselves in the promotion race winning 12 games since the turn of the year.
The club’s biggest league win this season saw them beat Welling United 4-0 while their biggest defeat came at Farnborough in February when they went down 3-0.
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THE MANAGER: Liam Daish has been manager at Stonebridge Road since February 2005 following an illustrious career that saw him appear in the Premier League with Coventry City.
Daish cut his managerial teeth at Havant & Waterlooville leading them to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in 2002/03.
Daish moved to Kent in 2005 and helped them achieve a sixth place finish in 2006-07, the club’s highest ever placing. The following season he led Fleet to the Trophy Final where Chris McPhee’s goal gave them victory over Torquay United at Wembley.
SQUAD: Following relegation to Blue Square Bet South boss Liam Daish set about rebuilding the Fleet squad securing top players in key positions.
Former Stevenage and Cambridge forward Calum Willock is enjoying a superb first season with the club notching 24 goals in 45 games. The striker is currently struggling with a hamstring injury but should he miss out boss Daish has plenty of other options.
Eighteen-year-old Scott Ginty has had injury problems of his own this season but is on the road to recovery and could be involved against the Saints. The forward started out at Peterborough and has also appeared for Stamford and St Neots prior to joining Fleet in 2009.
Jacob Erskine is another forward who is struggling with injury but Fleet are hopeful he too can overcome that to be involved against the Saints. Fleet beat Forest Green Rovers to Erskine’s signature in January after the striker had spent the earlier part of the season at Concord Rangers and Swindon Supermarine.
The Kent side beat the registration deadline to bolster their attack with the signing of Jody Banim. Banim had left Droylsden to move down south and concentrate on his studies and having trained with the club was signed up to help Fleet’s promotion push.
At the other end of the pitch, 20-year-old goalkeeper Preston Edwards found fame this season when he became a YouTube phenomenon with 45,000 hits following his red card against Farnborough after just 10 seconds. The ‘keeper started out at Millwall and has also had spells at Dover and Grays Athletic.
Experienced centre-half Paul Lorraine was handed the captain’s armband by Liam Daish after joining the club from AFC Wimbledon in the summer. The 27-year-old opted to drop back into part time football to concentrate on his studies at Greenwich University having previously made 70 appearances for Woking.
Northern Ireland youth international Ryan Blake has just extended his loan spell at Stonebridge Road after impressing during his original one month deal. Blake was signed from Brentford as cover for Derek Duncan and has grabbed the opportunity with both hands making 11 appearances to date.
Clint Easton offers Fleet experience both in midfield and defence. The former Watford trainee attracted a �200,000 fee when he moved to Norwich City before moving on to Wycombe Wanderers, Hereford and then Ebbsfleet.
Craig Stone is another versatile player in the Fleet squad able to cover in midfield or at right-back. After 15 appearances with Gillingham Stone moved to Stonebridge Road in 2008/09 but a broken leg interrupted his career and after a year out he made his comeback with Maidstone. Stone rejoined Fleet in 2010 and has made over 60 appearances for the club.
Ashley Carew has weighed in with 12 goals from midfield this season having joined the club last August. The ex-Barnet man has also played for Eastleigh and Bromley in Blue Square Bet South before arriving at Stonebridge Road.
Exciting prospect Tom Phipp is another who has weighed in with a number of goals from midfield this season netting 11 times. Phipp rose through the club’s PASE youth scheme and was a member of the Kent squad that won the FA County Cup.
Another graduate of the club’s youth scheme is flying winger Michael West. The 19-year-old is currently the club’s second highest scorer having found the back of the net 16 times this season.
Giannoulis Fakinos is a new face at Stonebridge Road having arrived at the club in March this year. The former Olympiakos youngster’s previous club was Apollon Smyrni but the 21-year-old opted to move to England to study and he made his full debut in the club’s 2-0 win over Staines Town.
Trinidad & Tobago winger Ricky Shakes is another of Fleet’s goal threats from midfield having scored seven times this season.
Shakes started out at Charlton Athletic and has been on the books at Bolton, Brentford and Swindon.
One man who will need no introduction to Saints fans is Ram Marwa. The tough tackling midfield moved to the Kent outfit in the summer after former club Hayes & Yeading moved to full-time football. The Norwegian born midfielder has gained a wealth of experience in non-league football and has also played out in Australia.
LAST TIME: Tom Phipp dealt the decisive blow to City when the two sides met at Clarence Park back in November.
The midfielder headed home just before the break after being left unmarked from a set piece to ensure all three points returned to Kent.
The visitors had taken an early lead when Calum Willock controlled a long ball and volleyed into the top corner but a powerful run and finish from Inih Effiong had leveled matters.
REFEREE: J W Scott (Buckingham) assisted by D A Jones & G J Collins