Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Brave Fleet put circus act behind them
PUBLISHED: 14:45 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 23 August 2010
ROLL up, roll up. The circus is coming to town again this Saturday as a team of stripey clowns and thieving pirates led by a dastardly, grinning ringmaster (Mr Westley) will attempt to cobble together some entertainment while making off with the silverwar
ROLL up, roll up. The circus is coming to town again this Saturday as a team of stripey clowns and thieving pirates led by a dastardly, grinning ringmaster (Mr Westley) will attempt to cobble together some entertainment while making off with the silverware behind our backs.
As if last week's first leg - played out as it was in the shadow of Zippo's Circus wasn't drama enough - the second leg promises to be a taut, tension-filled 90 minutes as the Fleet walk the tightrope between success and oblivion.
On the pitch there was also plenty of clowning around - our first-half defensive performance for starters.
I half expected our lads to start throwing buckets of water over one another and smashing each other round the head with "amusing" props after the calamity of the second goal and, to be honest, they could have been wearing giant comedy shoes for all we knew in an opening 45 minutes best forgotten.
Then, of course, there was Andy Drury's clownish goal celebration after seven minutes. I never figured maths to be his strong point during his time with us so it was little surprise that he went off on one a good 173 minutes early in full view of the Fleet fans with his tongue hanging out and fists in the air.
Never one to forgive and forget too easily, I'm sure the Stonebridge Road faithful will give him warm applause when he pitches up this weekend. That's if he doesn't cry off with a cold again.
Also curious was the state of Boro's back four. Michael Bostwick appeared to have grown some sort of out-of-control mop atop his head, while Mark Roberts was less clown and more scarecrow with a big yellow Worzel Gummidge wig flapping in the breeze.
Full-back Callum Wilson preferred the Adam Miller look, complete with spangly hairband and sweeping mullet. It was like watching the Bee Gees in their heyday.
And, finally, the clowns who threw the flare onto the pitch; whatever colours they were wearing, they were idiots of the highest order without a care for the consequences of their actions.
But, in the second half, it was time for the lions to take centre stage. That indomitable Fleet spirit just doesn't know when to quit and for all the disappointment of Boro's winning goal, the comeback courtesy of Neil Barrett's courage and Stacy Long's skill was a proud moment for Fleet fans.
It all adds up to a massive and unmissable match this weekend. We'll need more lionhearts like Barrett (but, please, without the terrible consequences) to get us through what will certainly not be the easiest of viewings for Fleet fans.
A scrappy 2-0 win will make my day and Sacha Opinel pushing a custard pie in Andy Drury's face afterwards will send me home with a big painted-on smile across my face.