Fleet fans have had to wait a little longer than usual for football in November – an 11-day gap for the 11th month to kick-off last occurred in 2009 and while a small break might be a welcome respite from a hectic National League schedule, everyone will be itching to get back on to the grass.
This time last year, the Fleet had a block of H teams upcoming – Hemel, Havant, Halifax and Hampton – and coincidentally, November this year starts with another in Hartlepool United.
It’s another long trip for Dennis Kutrieb’s side but with Fleet’s good record against the Teeside club, who are second-bottom of the form table at present, there’s plenty to encourage those making the journey – particularly as they have enjoyed wins there previously. Fleet tackle November with October’s quartet of signings – Jordon Ibe, Mustapha Olagunju, Dominic Samuel and Myles Kenlock – all in place, as well as a fully fit Matty Fanimo, to boost the options available as we head into winter.
After that distance, it’s back-to-back home games against the last two clubs promoted alongside us from the South – Oxford City last season and Maidenhead United back in 2017. There’s little need to dig into the memory banks to remember Oxford, who provided the opposition on that fantastic April day when a 3-0 Fleet win against the Hoops secured us the National South title.
Oxford, who of course will be minus loanee Chris Haigh on the day, have just signed cover in the form of goalkeeper Jack Bycroft from Southampton. He has previous loan experience with Aldershot and Taunton Town, in goal for the latter when we won 1-0 in the West Country in April.
Maidenhead United follow that under the lights, recalling the last meeting between the clubs when a superb evening performance in March 2020 took three points in a 3-1 win that set the tone for the last few games before lockdown, when the Fleet looked odds-on to overhaul Maidenhead and avoid the drop.
The month is rounded off by one of the biggest away games of the season, to a former Premier League venue as we visit Oldham’s Boundary Park for the first time in our history. Oldham, under the new management of Micky Mellon – the man who as Tranmere boss thwarted our Wembley play-off dreams in 2017 – have won one, drawn one and lost two since the new boss came in.
Aside from the league games, we will also know our Isuzu FA Trophy opponents as Round Two takes place on November 18th with the draw for Round Three (when National League clubs enter) two days later… Fleet will play that game on December 9th.
So it’s a relatively short November – just 19 days and four matches long in football terms – but it’s another vital and enticing set of fixtures ahead.
• If you would like to sponsor either of our two home games in November – or indeed any match throughout 2023/24 – please email us or call 01474 533796 for availability and any further enquiries. Matchday mascots and guard of honour places can also be booked for any of those games.