Fleet Town took another step towards relegation after twice letting a lead slip against fellow strugglers Thatcham
Fleet Town's fight to avoid relegation suffered another hammer blow after fellow strugglers Thatcham overcame a 2-1 deficit to grab an unlikely victory on Tuesday night.
Goals from Simba Mlambo and Pat Cox had given Craig Davis’s Blues a deserved lead at the interval.
But failure to put away a string of gilt-edged chances early in the second half proved costly as the visitors struck twice to take all three points.
It meant another disappointing night for the Fleet player-boss, particularly after his side’s fine away point at high-fliers Cirencester 10 days ago.
“It’s an extremely tough one to take,” he said. “We had the game in the palm of our hands and we blew it to be honest.
“We were 2-1 up and playing some brilliant stuff at times and carving them open, only to miss four or five chances that a team has to bury to kill the game off.
“Instead they level things with a long-range strike. Our heads dropped and we were unable to find our earlier rhythm.”
Davis’s side got off to a dream start, going ahead inside three minutes when Mlambo rounded his marker and beat keeper Rob Durrant with a firm shot from a tight angle.
Five minutes later, however, Thatcham forced an equaliser after Fleet failed to clear from a free kick, allowing time for Luke Abrahart to force the ball home.
Fleet though continued to press hard, and in the 24th minute an inch-perfect cross from the left from Aaron Blaxall evaded Durrant and Cox readily headed in.
After the break Fleet continued to threaten, with Alex Charlick linking well on the left with Blaxall and twice forcing saves from Durrant.
But they were made to pay on 62 minutes when, against the run of play, a 25-yard shot from right-back Jordan Seward flew into the top right hand corner.
This knocked Fleet sideways and their misery was compounded 12 minutes from time when Abrahart bagged a winner from a few yards out.
Fleet take to the road twice this week, starting with a trip to Yate Town on Saturday before they go to North Leigh – the only side they have beaten in the league this season – next Tuesday night.
Fleet: Pryce, Scott, Blaxall, White, Gator, (Bowen 81), Davis, Charlick, (French 87), Carter, Mlambo, Cox, Carr. Subs: Bufton, Martin, Smith