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Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Terminator offers Setanta schedule a brighter future

PUBLISHED: 15:51 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:08 23 August 2010

ONE wonders what little light bulb went on in the head of the Setanta Fixtures Guru when he chanced upon Ebbsfleet v Histon in the schedules and said to his minions, A-ha! I must have this game! It will make an awesome TV spectacle…! The crowds flockin

ONE wonders what little light bulb went on in the head of the Setanta Fixtures Guru when he chanced upon Ebbsfleet v Histon in the schedules and said to his minions, "A-ha! I must have this game! It will make an awesome TV spectacle...!"

The crowds flocking to the game, the cacophony of noise in anticipation of seeing the legendary long-ball tactician John Beck, the ceaseless banter between two great bodies of Fleet and Histon Ultras on the terraces...there's just no end to the exciting coverage that Setanta will be providing the nation next Monday.

You have to wonder how they'll jazz this one up over at Setanta HQ. It could be like one of those late-night quiz channels that nobody watches where young lady presenters appeal for viewers by luring them with feminine graces and increasingly desperate promises of cash.

However, for all that, Setanta have been handed a potentially newsworthy lifeline on Monday night. Rumour has it that the man in the middle will be none other than John Hopkins, the refereeing equivalent of The Terminator, who officiated the recent Fleet v Cambridge match - some might say debacle - with such skill, subtlety and control and won a whole bundle of new admirers as a result.

He has booked no less than 30 players and sent off one in his last four Blue Square Premier runouts this season so should guarantee plenty of talking points for the half-time and post-match analysis, as well as provide lots of hastily edited shots of Liam Daish frowning, swearing and chasing the fourth official down the line with a bottle of Gatorade.

Still, let's not just simply assume we're in for an evening of lamentable decisions and cards being thrown around like confetti. Let's give the bloke a chance and judge him on the forthcoming 90 minutes, not his previous 360.

Failing that, at least wait until we've kicked off before telling him he's ruined the game. Oh, all right then, let's get him on Histon's side from the word go with a few gentle words the minute he runs out on the pitch for his warm-up - it's what we usually do!

Last Saturday's fine result at Barrow - a pleasant encounter with the locals by all accounts according to those still in quarantine since returning - put the Fleet in the play-off positions at last... well, for all of 24 hours at least. It is no more than we have deserved for a largely decent set of performances over 12 games that, with improved consistency and more of a killer mentality, would probably see us vying for top spot with unlikely leaders Crawley.

At least our game against them on November 17 - again earmarked for Setanta's TV cameras - will be easier for the satellite channel to big up, hopefully as a top-of-the-table clash of the titans.

Well, for as long as they can keep a straight face when following the word "titans" with the words "Crawley" and "Ebbsfleet" anyway.

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