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Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Ebbsfleet show a bit of fight in welcome return to form

PUBLISHED: 17:12 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:24 23 August 2010

I THINK I might be coming round to the way of thinking of those who advocate a mid-winter break in the English season. It appears to have done the Fleet a world of good, after all. Without a league game at Stonebridge Road in a month plus two new signin

I THINK I might be coming round to the way of thinking of those who advocate a mid-winter break in the English season. It appears to have done the Fleet a world of good, after all.

Without a league game at Stonebridge Road in a month plus two new signings and the promise of more to come, it almost felt like the first day of the season again (well, apart from the fact Burton were 30 points ahead and it had just stopped snowing that week).

And the Fleet certainly delivered. The two new lads from Wycombe showed their potential value while Luke Moore and Jamie Hand gave near-faultless displays. It was just what Fleet fans have been waiting for after a nightmarish December and it was all the more enjoyable because it wasn't just another ground-out, single-goal victory. The Fleet turned on the style for much of the game and could probably have won it by two or three in the end.

From a fan's point of view it also had the small matter of a mini-melee at the end which, if we're going to be mature and grown-up about things, is a terrible blight on the game... but, if we're going to be realistic and admit we enjoy a bit of a scrap now and again, it really livened up proceedings and made the three points even sweeter.

Rushden must be gluttons for punishment. First they employ the Graham Westley and Dino Maamria dream team and then follow that up with a man who makes Westley look like Mother Teresa. Garry - or Benny, as his own fans call him - Hill has a fairly disagreeable track record, including a 10-game ban from the FA for headbutting the Salisbury assistant manager.

His temperament came to the fore on Saturday after Simon Downer's quite vicious tackle on Moore and he all but parachuted into Liam Daish's technical area in a bid to make his point.

Not once. Not twice. Three times. No doubt the FA will slap both managers with the same punishment, but one would hope a cursory scan of the video evidence will show that Hill was let off his leash and acted in his usual bone-headed, provocative and aggressive manner.

Alan Kimble was perhaps guilty of stepping outside his area to remonstrate with Downer following the tackle, but why did Hill need to get so involved?

I pity poor Liam Daish's doctor, who will have to prescribe another dose of calming remedies with the Fleet boss up against that other shining beacon of tact and diplomacy, Steve Evans, next Tuesday.

Having already had one run-in with the erudite Mr Evans, I think it's fair to say there will be no love lost.

It should at least guarantee that Fleet fans will be in good voice again - though what it says about us that we get louder when there's a hint of hostility in the air, I don't know.

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