Fleet defender Kelvin Langmead is convinced his teammates are focussed on the task in hand now that the season has approached the ‘win or bust’ phase.
Last Saturday’s win at Bromley certainly fell into such a category and the 29-year-old signing from Northampton feels the fear of losing did the team a favour.
“We had to win that one to keep the season alive. So, definitely, that was the feeling going into the game and there will be that feeling going into every game now until the end of the season. It’s now a case of building off the Bromley result.”
In a five-page interview for tomorrow’s matchday programme, Langmead – who spent virtually all of his career so far in the Football League – reveals, “I’m still learning all the time. Each game throws you different challenges. In the Football League I knew all the teams and their players and the way they played, having played against them loads of times before. Whereas each week now, that isn’t the case. It’s all new but I’m enjoying it.”
And boss Jamie Day told FleetOnline, “The lads know they can’t afford slip-ups. We still have teams around us to play so the boys are fully prepared and I know they will give their all in each game. When we play the struggling teams, they might be a bit more patient, so we have to try and break them down and show restraint and patience ourselves. Bromley came out and went for us because they felt the odds were good they could outplay us and sometimes as it did last week it works in our favour. Not all teams are going to do that.”
The manager has Tyrone Marsh back in contention after he trained this week while he is waiting on the fitness of Danny Kedwell – who missed the Bromley game – and Dean Rance. Kedwell was due to train yesterday while Rance took a knock during the week and both will face late tests to determine their availability. Day has the option of moving Matt Godden in alongside Adam Cunnington if Kedwell remains sidelined but has been pleased with Godden’s efforts from the right flank since his return and is reluctant to change things too much after the Bromley result.
Michael West and Aiden Palmer came through a week’s training and Day is hoping both can get some game time in a possible training match next week when he can assess both players’ readiness for action. Joe Howe remains out after having a scan on his shoulder while Kenny Clark sits out the final game of his suspension.
If the game is a must-win for the Fleet, it’s not far off it for Maidenhead United who have won just one game in 2015 and only two since early November. They have just had a run of five home games in their last six matches but lost four of those to leave them looking over their shoulders at Farnborough in the relegation places. The Magpies have a six-point cushion but Farnborough have a game in hand and Johnson Hippolyte’s side have to play six top-half sides in their final eight games.
They do have 14-goal striker Dave Tarpey in their ranks, however, who is fifth in the division’s list of goalscorers and have made a number of signings recently, including Kieran Morris and Tyrell Miller-Rodney on loan from Brentford, former Manchester City youth goalkeeper Ashley Timms and Braintree striker Charlie Strutton who played at Stonebridge Road in the FA Trophy.
They also have former Fleet men Lanre Azeez and Jacob Erskine in their ranks, though big-name signing DJ Campbell has not played since January amid reports of an imminent signing with a Football League club.
Our last meeting produced a memorable 4-0 away win in December – but at Stonebridge Road the Magpies have managed to frustrate us, with a 0-0 draw last season and, in our first ever Conference South game in 2010, a 2-1 win.