Fleet Life with Ed Miller: The Fleet are low in the table, and yet I'm as high as a kite
PUBLISHED: 14:34 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:25 23 August 2010
RECREATIONAL drug use, so I am told by the government information films on the subject, involves the experience of great highs followed by immense lows. Quite what they re spraying from the rust-laden roof of Stonebridge Road I don t know, but it clearly
RECREATIONAL drug use, so I am told by the government information films on the subject, involves the experience of great highs followed by immense lows.
Quite what they're spraying from the rust-laden roof of Stonebridge Road I don't know, but it clearly contains some kind of prohibited substance.
Fans are going through the wringer of emotions and last Saturday's encounter was the equivalent of an overdose, packing the full range of highs, lows and everything in between into 90 minutes of madcap defending and extraordinary attacking. When FGR scored their third, I'd given up the ghost - three home defeats would have had me hauling out my Rough Guide To Regional Football and contemplating life among the Dartfords and Wellings before winter had even ended. Even Stefan Bailey's cheeky third equaliser hadn't exactly got us rocking in our seats as a single point wouldn't have been much to smile about and we were half expecting the jolly green giants to score another anyway, such was the nature of the match. So, when the towering frame of Leon Crooks - playing his 50th game for the club - suddenly leaped clear of the luckless Rovers goalkeeper and headed home in the final minute, it was one of those pure adrenaline rushes that are so few and far between in football. Last-minute goals are good. Last-minute goals when you've been behind are great. Last-minute goals when you've been behind three times and lead for the only time in the fixture are simply too fantastic to describe.
The only way that could have been better would have been on the last day of the season, with us needing three points to stay up. Given that FGR got a goal headstart, with a laughable penalty which made their manager's later bleating about the nailed-on penalty they should have had in the second half seem a touch unreasonable, one could argue it was a form of justice served. However, for all the jubilation of the result and the commendable fighting spirit shown by the players, three points from nine at home was nevertheless disappointing and will have to be improved upon to stay out of the bottom four. From the desperation of November, when we couldn't score for love nor money, it seems the problem has now transferred to the back four, where we are shipping far too many goals through unfortunate mistakes and avoidable errors. But, I'm confident that, if we can sort ourselves out in that department, we have enough quality to stay up and render the fact that other sides have minutes in hand meaningless. And finally, a word on Magno Vieira. To have reached double figures in the scoring charts and become the joint-seventh top hitman in the division is an astonishing feat given the Fleet's scoring record just five weeks ago. Charlie MacDonald aside, I can't think of another striker during our tenure in the Conference who would make it into the team ahead of Vieira, Michael Gash included. His work-rate and skill are immense and, now, his goal return is favourable too.
For all the talk of possible offers for the likes of Darius Charles and Lance Cronin during this transfer window, it amazes me that someone hasn't taken a punt on Vieira, or at least made an enquiry, to bolster their promotion and play-off hopes. Not that I'm complaining. I'm hoping to see a celebratory samba from the player of the season come the end of April.