Liam Daish had called on his troops to play for pride as relegation was all but confirmed in midweek – but it was already-relegated Telford who dragged the Fleet down with them as their pride appeared to be the stronger on show this afternoon.
With off-field events lending an air of surrealism to this fixture – and with the two bottom sides up against each other – the lacklustre opening was to be expected. Fleet, without Preston Edwards for the first time this season, handed a full debut to Lucas Menz while Craig Stone, Phil Walsh and Tom Phipp were missing. Nathan Elder, meanwhile, was once again relegated to the bench in favour of Moses Ashikodi. And, perhaps summing their seasons, neither side could field the full complement of substitutes.
Menz was first into the action, saving a Steven Leslie shot on three minutes before Liam Bellamy’s shot was saved by Ryan Young and Ashikodi blazed over the bar. On 13 minutes, Ashley Carew’s floated corner found Liam Enver-Marum lurking but Phil Trainer managed to clear his effort off the line.