This weekend’s match replay travels back 17 years to a ding-dong battle at Edgar Street when promotion hopefuls Hereford United took on a Fleet side struggling to gain a toehold at the beginning of the 2003/04 season.
Graham Turner’s Bulls had a 100% home record whereas Fleet, with new signings struggling to bed in, had lost six of the first seven fixtures. When this game was played, in September 2003, things had improved slightly with wins over Leigh RMI and Exeter City and a draw at Stevenage having steadied the ship somewhat.
At Hereford, however, Fleet were without the suspended Justin Skinner and Steve McKimm or the injured Matt Lee and that meant shoehorning Jimmy Strouts and Eddie McClements into a makeshift back four. It led to a sometimes defensive posture in front of a noisy, expectant and partisan 3,731 crowd.
Nonetheless, Fleet raced into a 2-0 lead but Hereford promptly clawed that back before half-time. Two quick goals following the break had the score at 3-3 before Chris Moore’s late sending-off saw Fleet clinging on to the precious point.
The game was notable mainly for former Canvey Island midfielder Adam Miller’s sublime strike for the second goal but as quickly as he had begun to win Fleet fans over, he departed after just four games to join Aldershot Town.
The remainder of the season continued at an inconsistent pace for the Fleet although ended on a real high with a 12-game unbeaten run that included a memorable 6-0 demolition of Morecambe.
Hereford highlights (VHS quality!) below…