Horndean boss ‘ecstatic’ to claim point at ‘plain boring’ Fleet Town in Wessex Premier Division clash
Michael Birmingham was pleased to see his makeshift Horndean side get a 1-1 Wessex Premier draw at Fleet Town.
With injury and suspensions hitting his side hard, he was forced to draft in a number of youngsters.
He also included Tyler Giddings, who is dual-signed with Southern League Moneyfields, for what was Horndean’s first Wessex visit to Calthorpe Park since a 7-1 hammering in 1994/95..
'Considering the changes we had to make, I am ecstatic to come away with a point,' said Birmingham.
'Even more pleasing was the performance which was first-class.
'Only one team wanted to get the ball down and play.
'Fleet just launched the ball up in the air like an exocet missile every time they had it.
'I am not saying my philosophy is always right but I found their approach plain boring.
'The way their backroom staff conducted themselves didn't display much goodwill to all men.
'We all enjoy a bit of banter on the sidelines but there is no place for some of the things they were shouting at our players.
'It was embarrassing.'
Horndean were looking to avenge a 4-0 home loss to Fleet in October and soon got themselves in front.
Ben Anderson, 16, gave further notice of his blossoming talent.
Liam Kimber picked him out just inside the area with a great ball and the youngster drilled the ball just inside the post with a composed finish.
Horndean fell asleep at the back to present Fleet with a simple equaliser shortly after.
'Apart from some long throws Fleet didn't cause us many problems,' said Birmingham.
'We murdered them in the middle of the park and our midfield were superb.
'Unfortunately Bobby Scott is going through one of those difficult periods in front of goal.
'All strikers have times when things don't go for them in front of goal.
'He missed two one-on-ones you would normally bet on him to score.
'The one thing with Bobby, though, is you know he will keep going there and start scoring again.'
Although eighth, Horndean are still only seven points behind second placed AFC Stoneham.
Last season's runners-up have lacked consistency in the first half of the campaign but Birmingham is hoping 2020 tells a different story.
'We have only lost four league games but have drawn seven,' he said.
'It is important that we start turning the draws into wins.
'Our main problem has been injuries to experienced players and pathetic suspensions.
'The league is so tight, though, that it will only take three or four results to get right back up there.'