There are matches in a season on route to promotion or a title where supporters think it’s written in the stars. One such game in 2022/23 was our last visit to St Albans City with Fleet trailing to an early goal at half-time. It was still only February, a bad time to have a wobble in a promotion race, against a very useful side gunning for the play-offs.
That Fleet turned things around so clinically in the second-half to take all three points convinced many who were perhaps still a little nervous that this side would go on to be champions. And so it proved.
St Albans weren’t far off joining us in the National League – as Dennis Kutrieb had predicted they might after our Clarence Park triumph. A win at Chelmsford City and then a penalties defeat victory over Dartford at Princes Park had the Saints dreaming of promotion but they came unstuck in the final at Oxford City.
That brings us to this weekend’s friendly, Fleet’s last away day until the real thing begins in front of the TV cameras at Rochdale.
With wins at Punjab, Tonbridge and Sittingbourne away from home so far this summer, Fleet will look to make it 100% against David Noble’s team. And it was back to winning ways in some style in midweek as Kutrieb’s side raced into a 3-0 win against the bulk of Leyton Orient’s first-team at the Kuflink Stadium, eventually seeing out the game with a 3-2 final score.
Billy Clifford returned in that one and with only minor knocks to the other recent casualties, a few of those could be back in action this Saturday.
St Albans’ pre-season has consisted of just the two games so far, losing 3-1 at home to Cambridge United and then 1-0 to Maidenhead United in midweek, both matches at home. Xxxxx
There’s been a few ins and outs this close season with Noble’s incoming recruitment paying off as Dan Bowry (Worthing), Sam Brown (Banbury United), Nathan Carlyle (Weymouth), Bobby Dunn (Sheffield Wednesday), Raul Da Silva (Cheshunt), Dylan Fage (Macclesfield), Andronicos Georgiou (Kings Langley), Jack James (Gloucester City) and Charlie McDonald (not that one!) have signed.
Out the door have gone players including Joy Mukena (Crawley Town), Devante Stanley (Havant), Chris Paul, Munashe Sundire and Liam Sole.
Shaun Jeffers remains on board, Dominic Poleon’s only real rival for the Golden Boot for a spell last season, while seasoned Saints campaigners such as goalkeeper Michael Johnson, defender Michael Clark and attackers Zane Banton and Mitchell Weiss will also be in yellow and blue for the coming campaign.
Ticket prices are as follows and they can be bought online here or at the gate (card only).
- Adult £10
- Concessions £8
- Next-Gen (18-23) £6
- Under 18s £4
- Under 12s FREE