Kevin Watson’s assistant Tristan Lewis was on media duty while the manager sealed the deal for a permanent position at the club and he reflected on the opportunities Fleet had to inflict defeat on a tough Chesterfield side.
“We’ve just said in there, you see some of the lads coming off, and they look a little bit disappointed with a point today,” Lewis told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “And I think that shows how far we’ve come in the recent weeks. We’ve probably had the better chances. We’ve got to improve little things but I think we’ve had the chances to win the game. You take one of them and suddenly it’s another win.”
Lewis conceded that Chesterfield had much the better start of the two sides and Fleet’s mistakes and another goal from a set piece made it hard work to earn the point.
“We’re really disappointed with the free-kick that’s given away for their goal,” he said, “but in the grand scheme of things our job is to keep this team moving up the table and a point against a team who’ve won four on the spin and beat Notts County recently, it’s got to be a good point ultimately.
“They were the better side at the start. It was unfortunate for Harry [Palmer] after a great performance the other night that that error has given them that chance. But we clawed our way back into the game. We can’t be critical of the boys’ effort but they have started better and on the front foot but they’re a big club. That’s a big, big club in this league and for us to go toe to toe, with maybe the things that have happened already this season, I think we have to take the positives.”
Fleet weren’t far off adding to the Barnet home win to cheer supporters at the Kuflink Stadium and Lewis knows that home record is something to improve upon.
“Sometimes when you’re away from home teams come out a little bit,” he said. “And the style of play we want, which is to try to play through the thirds, is a bit easier when you’re doing it on the break. We’ve got to improve the home form but ultimately you just take any result; with the place we are in the league, a point is a point but it’s got be a bit of a fortress to play at.”
The home side took the game to the visitors a little more in the second half and Lewis believed that had a lot to do with better delivery and crosses from the flanks, which tended to be hit long in the first 45 minutes.
“We spoke at half-time. Westy had a put a few [crosses] a little bit too big in the first half. With the surface as it was, and they made a change in goal at half-time, [we just said] to try and flash it across the surface. You saw in the first half with their goal, it’s very lively, it’s wet. The quality of crossing in the second-half was better, maybe we could have got a few more bodies into the box for those crosses but that’s something we’ll look at and work on as we move forward.”
The conditions played a part as well, with Lewis referencing the comical moment that warmed the crowd in the second half when the wind outfoxed four or five players. He also pointed out Fleet’s disrupted week travelling to Chorley whereas Chesterfield had the benefit of a full week’s training because of their Yeovil postponement.
“There was one [incident] in the second-half where four people tried to judge it and all four for both teams got it wrong,” he said. “It was very difficult but all credit to the players. People have to remember, we’ve all got home at 3 or 4 o’clock [AM] on Tuesday, the boys have grafted on Thursday and trained hard all week and it does take its toll on the lads.
“But the conditions… if you weren’t here, you probably can’t see how difficult it was. The ball was very hard to judge, they had a couple of handballs where people were probably making good decisions to handball it to stop us breaking, but it was the same for both teams ultimately.”