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Fleet Town FC handed surprise relegation lifeline

Fleet Town's hopes of surviving the drop from Calor South & West have received a massive boost following the resignation of Thatcham Town

Fleet Town and Guildford City have been left to battle it out for survival

Fleet Town were thrown a lifeline in their bid to survive relegation from the Calor League (South & West) after rivals Thatcham Town announced their intention to resign from the division at the end of the season.

Like Fleet and Surrey sides Godalming Town and Guildford City, the Berkshire side have struggled with the gruelling schedule and extra travelling in this division at are expected to return to the Hellenic League next term.

That leaves only one relegation spot available and a straight fight between bottom two rivals Fleet and Guildford in a bid to survive the drop into Step 5 football.

Craig Davis’ Fleet got the upper hand on Saturday when an impressive 2-1 home victory over Wimborne Town saw them leapfrog City off the foot of the table, although that was followed by another defeat on Tuesday night when the Blues went down 3-1 at North Leigh.

But Davis was remaining solely focused on the job in hand, saying: “I don’t want to comment on other clubs’ decisions. Sure it will help us, but it doesn’t change anything as far as I am concerned.

"We’ll continue to work hard on the pitch and show we are a Southern League side.”

A Rob Carr strike and a 74th-minute winner from captain Ben White wrapped up the three points for the Blues on Saturday after Matt Kemble had levelled for the mid-table visitors.

“It was a massive result for us and a superb performance from my lads,” Davis added.

“We showed great character after they equalised and won it with a wonderful strike by our skipper.”

Tuesday’s game at North Leigh was decided by a three-goal blast in eight second-half minutes by the home side – this after Fleet had dominated much of the first 70 minutes of the game.

Goals from Connor McDonagh, Mark Bell and Keiran Sanders turned the tables before Simba Mlambo pulled a goal back for Fleet.

The Blues now have four league matches remaining to keep themselves away from the bottom spot, starting with play-off contenders Shortwood United at Calthorpe Park on Saturday, ko 3pm.

And their hopes were boosted further by Guildford's 1-0 home defeat by Stratford Town on Wednesday night, courtesy of an 88th-minute winner by Richard Gregory.

Fleet: Pryce, Byres, Blaxall, Ben White, Gator, Scott, Brett Stanley (sub Mlambo, 70 mins), Davis, Jack White, French, Carr, (Staines 79). Subs not used: Blair, Martin.

 

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