On The Road With The Crows….
Next Up: 'The Blues' of Fleet Town FC
Crows at Fleet Town FC
Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 5FA
Kick Off: 7.45pm Tuesday 12th March 2013
Evo-Stik League Southern: Division One Central
So, another crucial three points were secured on Saturday against struggling Chertsey Town and Tuesday nights visit to deepest darkest Hampshire provides us with a stern test against another struggling side.
Now, to our opponents, from the sleepy Hampshire town of Fleet. I furnish all you Crows fans with a fascinating fact, this week is no different! No they were not named after that very classy group of the 70’s and 80’s…. You know, Fleetwood Mac (Quality), but after extensive research, I have discovered that in 2011, the town of Fleet was voted the best place to live in the UK, surely not, the judges could not have come to Royston and sampled the delights of the Heath, Normans Takeaway or our excellent night spot Paradiso’s, (no it’s Fat Jacks, got that wrong again, NU or is it SG8….My clubbing days are obviously behind me Crows fans!).
On the music front, Jim Jiminee formed in Fleet, yep never heard of them either, but they are quite famous with their EP “Do it on a Thursday”, why not a Friday or a Saturday I don’t know?
Originally formed in 1890, they were called Fleet FC, playing at Watson’s Meadow. They moved to their current home in those heady days of 1923 and had two Saturday sides playing in that most famous of leagues, The Aldershot and Basingstoke League.
They entered the Hampshire League in 1961 and in 1963 changed their name to Fleet Town FC, now that was easy wasn’t it! The change in name also signaled a change in fortunes as they won the league that year, cantering to the title by 12 points from Alton Town FC. With England winning the World Cup in 1966, this proved to be a lucky omen for “Les Blues” (they are closer to France than we are!), as they made their bow in the FA Cup, reaching the second qualifying round, dispatching Alton Town 6-1, before bowing out to Horsham FC. They also won their league again.
From 1978 to 1985 the club plied its trade in the Athenian League, but due to ground requirements they were placed into the Combined Counties league for two years. After this, they became league hoppers, not ground hoppers! They’ve experienced the Surrey County League, the Surrey County Premier League, the Chiltonian League, the French Premier League, the German League (only joking on the last two!), but they did end up in the Wessex League.
Significant ground improvements followed, but disaster struck in 1992 when their main stand was burnt down. This was replaced again a year later with a 200 seat stand.
In 1995 the club were crowned champions of the Wessex League and with it promotion to the Southern League. Mid to low table stability followed, but several local cups were captured. Relegation back to the Wessex league followed in 2000 after finishing bottom with just 32 points on the board, but there was some consolation with the Aldershot Senior cup captured.
The Club regained their Southern League status under the tutelage of Steve Beeks, finishing 20th and 22nd before transferring to the Isthmian League.
With that famous Wolves player Andy Sinton, fortunes improved (had too, he is my most favourite player of all time, I can still remember the chants at the Golden Palace..”He’s as small as a pint, but he’s not ***e, Andy Andy Sinton!) With several local cup competitions won, the club transferred back to the Southern League and finished just a couple of points behind Champions Farnborough.
In 2009, due to various transferring of clubs from league to league, they returned to the Isthmian league and again, more local cups were won, including the Hampshire Senior Cup. This was done against that very famous VTFC (sounds more like a painful health condition than a football club).
A body blow to the club followed in 2010, when Andy resigned to take up the “Gaffers” seat at AFC Telford United. Steve Mellor took up the post and captured the Aldershot Senior Cup. After a poor start to the 2011-12 season, Steve left the club and was replaced by Craig David, sorry Craig Davis (I’m plugged into my IPOD and got
confused!) The club eventually finished in 21stposition, but was not relegated due to Bedfont Town resigning from the league.
Their Season So Far
Not in the best of form at present with three defeats on the bounce including an embarrassing home loss to latest whipping boys Leighton Town. On Saturday Les Blues endured a miserable time, being hammered 5-2 at home by Slough. A glimmer of hope came with Fleet handing out their own thrashing with a 4-1 win at inconsistent Aylesbury.
However the table has a depressing feel for them with 8 wins, 3 draws and 21 defeats to their name. Just 40 goals have been scored, however they do have one of the better defences in the bottom 10 sides with 61 conceded.
A long trip for those hearty Crows on Tuesday night with freezing cold conditions forecasted. Hopefully hearts will be warmed with three important points!
Ones to Watch
We will start at the back, because although they may have a leaky back line, it is filled with quality players that will give our strikers something to think about.
Signed in 2011 from Aldershot Town, tough tackling James Scott will give us something to think about. Very composed on the ball, James will not think twice about taking players on. James is aided in defence by another tough tackling defender (looks like our Kim will be busy) in Gavin Miller. Gavlar signed from Woking FC last season.
The midfield engine room is run by fans favourite James Field. James signed for the blues from the Met Police (so get ready for some chants of “it’s just like watching the bill” from me!). With 200 appearances for Fleet Town and with 90 goals to his name, James must be considered a danger man.
Watched by several league clubs already, young prospect Jack White has 10 goals to his name this season, 25% of Fleet Town’s total so far. Signed from AFC Totton in the summer of this year, the club have very high hopes for him. Partnering him up front, should be Mark Watkins, with 4 goals in twelve starts last year and 4 goals this year, Mark has a clear eye for goal and may give our defence some problems on Saturday
Taking the helm from Steve Mellor last year, Craig Davis is also a player with the club. Craig started his career at Cardiff City, before sojourns at Bashley, Salisbury City, Gosport Borough and AFC Totton followed. Craig’s squad is a work in progress and will provide a stern test on Tuesday night.
Have We Met Before?
We have met just the once this season, a very suprising bore draw for the Crows, the first in nearly two years of football was ground out on the 6th October 2012. A crowd of 129 witnessed this match.
How To Get There
Taken from their website, as unfortunately due to a certain Navigator in my car we almost ended up at Northwood FC instead of North Greenford United FC. Take a bow Richard Scott!
- Leave the M3 at Junction 4a, and follow the signs for Fleet!.
- Head along the A3013, Fleet Road. Carry on along the street passing the main shopping street, through several pedestrian crossings for about 1 mile.
- When you get to the Oatsheaf Pub crossroads head straight across.
- Ground is 300yds down the hill on the right
Adult up to 65: £8.00
Over 65: £5.00
Child 12-16 £5.00
Under 12: FREE