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Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Fixture backlog is snow joke

PUBLISHED: 16:29 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:27 23 August 2010

CLOSE the schools! Shut down the trains! Postpone all forms of office work in case it s a bit chilly! Call off the footy! Yes, if you were one of the British millions who thought nuclear armageddon had befallen the nation rather than we d just had a dus

CLOSE the schools! Shut down the trains! Postpone all forms of office work in case it's a bit chilly! Call off the footy!

Yes, if you were one of the British millions who thought nuclear armageddon had befallen the nation rather than we'd just had a dusting of snow last week, chances are you'll be chomping at the bit for tonight's televised clash against ex-Cloughie Albion.

All assuming of course it hasn't rained for more than an hour, or that hailstones haven't violated health and safety regulations, or that the 10 plagues of Egypt haven't been visited upon us.

Personally, I fail to see what's wrong with issuing the players with John Barnes-style mittens, an old-fashioned orange ball and scraping around the centre circle and penalty box with a rake so that the lines are visible and then telling them to get on with it.

They didn't break many legs in the Seventies on snowy pitches, so what's changed in the last 30 years?

I'm sure I remember a Leeds-Derby game as a kid where everything was white and the only things visible on the pitch without using thermal imaging were the referee, the orange ball and one of those pitch-invading dogs you don't get at games anymore.

It made for an intriguing spectacle and one I'm sure Setanta Sports could benefit from.

On a more serious note, of course, the Fleet can ill afford any more fixture congestion. Already facing seven games in April with one still to be rescheduled and the possibility of - heaven forbid - a run in the never-ending Setanta Shield or Kent Senior Cup, or - somewhat more welcome - the FA Trophy, the last thing we need is to lose any more games in February.

We have seen over the last two seasons how a backlog of games can affect form and, while we're in the same boat as plenty of other teams, I'd rather not be playing three games every seven to 10 days while desperately needing points in the bag.

After the highs and lows of the Crawley game and the splendid turnout for the Trophy free-for-all, the Fleet need to pick up the momentum again.

With any luck we can stick manager Roy McFarland's midweek call for his players to go unbeaten until the end of the season back down his throat at the first time of asking as well.

Speaking of managers and ill-advised opinions, meanwhile, it didn't escape my attention that Garry Hill fell on his own sword last Tuesday as his Rubbish & Dustbins side continued to freefall down the table in hot pursuit of ourselves.

I'm not sure there are many non-league sides left with money to burn so it will be interesting to see where Gobby Gaz ends up once his various touchline bans have expired sometime around 2016.

Given the recent weather conditions, I think he - and certain other Blue Square managers - could be put to good use melting ice by virtue of all the hot air they routinely spout.

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