As always, let's start with a brief description of the stadium. Situated within walking distance of the town centre, the ground manages to give the feeling of being out in the countryside. The entrance to the ground is approached through the car park and a single turnstile which brings you into the stadium between the main stand, which has seating for 250, and the snack bar. There are also covered standing areas behind both goals with the dugouts being opposite the main stand. The clubhouse is accessed directly from the car park, not from within the stadium itself. The playing surface slopes down from right to left as you look from the main stand and the whole ground is pretty much surrounded by trees which adds to the rural feel.
Something about Fleet Town gives you a feel good factor. The welcome at the turnstile was friendly and the lady in the snack bar chats to everyone as if they were all old friends. You even see the Chairman wandering around mixing with supporters and having a chat. It gives a very welcoming feel to the club for which they should be congratulated.
I was really looking forward to this game not least because I hadn't been to a match for 2 weeks. Also it was a chance to see a team who, I knew, tried to play an entertaining style as well as a chance to see the league leaders.
A mention here for Kings Langley. After gaining promotion to Step 4 for the first time in the clubs long history there has been no thought of a season of consolidation, rather they have set about the league as if they are veterans at this level. Going into the game on Tuesday they were sitting proudly on top of the league with a one point lead and already pretty much guaranteed at least a play-off spot. A great effort from the club.
So to the game. With Kings Langley kicking down the slope in the first half I was really expecting an onslaught in the opening 20 minutes or so. However, this didn't really transpire and it was Fleet who came closest to scoring within the opening 10 minutes when a through ball caught out the Kings defence and Comas, in the away goal, had to make a good stop.
The work rate of the home side seemed to be unsettling the leaders somewhat and they were struggling to get any coherent moves together. Having said that, the undoubted quality throughout their side meant that they always looked dangerous when breaking forward.
It was Fleet, however, who continued to carve out the better chances. A long range lob, with the keeper well out of his ground, was comfortably cleared by a defender and Comas was again called into action to tip a speculative effort over his bar.
As the half came to a close though, it was Fleet who ended it on the attack. Another cross into Comas' area was attacked by a group of players, leaving a Fleet player, Ben White, down after colliding with his own strike partner. The referee actually blew for half-time whilst the physio was still on the pitch treating the player.
So goalless, but very entertaining, at half-time.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first half with Fleet pushing their opponents back down the slope now. Craig Stanley, who had come on to replace the player injured at the end of the first half, was a continual thorn in the side of the Kings defence. His energy and willingness to chase everything was causing all sorts of problems. Still, however, Fleet could not find the breakthrough and, as the half progressed, you could feel the unease in the home support as Fleet legs tired and the game opened up. The second period seemed to fly past with the teams taking it in turn to attack and defend. On 75 minutes the away side had a golden opportunity to take the lead. One of their, now more frequent raids, was put out for a corner and, when the ball was crossed in, it was straight onto the head of the unmarked Stuart Deaton 10 yards out. His header, however, flew over the bar much to the relief of the home keeper.
With both sides going for the three points, the game continued end to end. Right on the end of normal time a Fleet corner was bundled over the line but the referee pulled it back for, I think, a foul on the goalkeeper.
And so it ended 0-0 but, as I tweeted at the final whistle. it was not a dull game in fact, I would say it was the best goalless draw I have witnessed. Credit to both sides for laying on such top-class entertainment.
Fleet may be below the halfway mark in the table but with a visit to Kings Langley and a home game with new leaders Egham still to come this season, they will certainly have a say in where the league title ends up.
Best of luck to both teams in the future.
Fleet Town - @fcfleettown
Kings Langley - @klfcofficial