Fleet stunned at home
After the shock defeat last week Fleet were looking to show their bouncebackability against mid table outfit Aldwinians
With two good training sessions during the week alongside a well drilled warm up the Green and Gold contingent were looking ready to beat their opponents for the second occasion this season. A bright start in the first ten minutes playing with a high degree of tempo allowed the likes of the returning Ricky Newton, second row James Lilley and wing man Luke Wilson to make decent breaks with ball in hand. So, after 10 minutes on the clock it came as no surprise when the pressure finally paid off, Scott Richardson slotted home the awarded penalty making it 3-0. This spurred Fleet on, a kick down field saw Karl Bowling and Alex Ogden hustling the Aldwininan winger into making a mistake which was eventually cleared away. Despite the early pressure the red and whites had the upper hand particularly in the scrums which was putting Fleet on the back foot. Scrum half Gavin Rowell made a well judged chip and chase which allowed the team to gain territory. Following this a high tackle gifted Richardson further points from a penalty making it 6-0. By now the impetus that the home side had shown so far had evaporated as their opponents began to impose themselves, in return Fleet were being stripped of the ball in the contact! Aldwinians had the chance to strike back via a penalty but the fly-half nudged his effort wide. Most of the rugby was being played in the home half of the pitch and the red and whites did cross the line to score a try, however fortunately for Fleet the player dropped the ball. The amount of tackling that was now required to keep the visitors out was phenomenal, with flankers Jordan Brocklehurst and George Orry in particular relishing the challenge. Eventually, Aldwinians slotted over a penalty making it 6-3 at half time.
Into the second half it became the tale of one side, depending on your allegiance. Fleetwood on one hand capitulated and continued to make numerous handling errors coupled with poor individual decision making, whilst Aldwinians dominated virtually all areas of play as they grew in confidence. Only twice did the Green and Golds manage to venture into the opposition half which illustrated why this became a difficult day at the office. Two further penalties from Aldwinians allowed them to take the lead 6-9. To their credit Fleet defended heroically to keep the score down, however the downside to that was that any point of attack had to come from within their own half. The game drew to a close in similar fashion with the men from Droylsden clearly on top.
In consideration for a man of the match there were few moments of brilliance to reflect on. So, for his defensive duties and appetite for the tackle the player who showed most vigour was flanker George Orry.
On reflection the Fleet players will be individually disappointed with this level of performance as so many basic errors were made. Head Coach Steve Woodburn will need to rally his troops in training this week and ring the changes if Fleet are going to return to winning ways playing the brand of rugby that they know they are capable of. Next week Burnley provide the opposition over at Calder Vale.
Report by Dan Jefferson