Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Ebbsfleet United 2 Woking 1

Match 94/17/1544 - Tuesday, 20th February 2018 - National League

Ebbsfleet United (1) 2 Kedwell 42 (pen) 49
Woking (0) 1 Carter 63
Attendance: 1,146

Entrance: £11 Senior
Programme: £3
Mileage: 54/6,697

Match Report

It is two years since I last set foot into Stonebridge Road and in that time much has changed. They now ply their trade in the National League and, on this view, the standard is appreciably higher.

On that last visit the bulldozers were in position to start the demolition of the Liam Daish stand. At the time, I wrote: “I'm sure something lovely will rise from the rubble, but I've always kind of liked it as it was.” A new, all-seater has emerged from the rubble. Something lovely? Of that I’m not so sure. It is functional but lacking in character as is said for most new builds, but whilst I’m no architect, there does seem to be a waste of space. There are only six rows of seats that accommodates just over a 1,000 spectators but the high wall at the back suggests that a couple more rows could have been added. I sat in the fifth row back where the rain managed to sweep below the roof. Question of wind direction, etc., maybe.

What wasn’t in question though was the quality of the match in which Ebbsfleet built a deserved two goal lead but found themselves hanging on in the closing moments.

The Fleet might have got their noses in front early when a sixth minute shot from 25 yards by Andy Drury struck the right hand post and two minutes later, new signing Cory Whitely dragged a shot wide.

A couple of meaty challenges saw bookings for Fleet’s Dean Rance and Woking’s Chez Isaac before Whitely struck the post a second time.

Woking were not without their own threat and, after 27 minutes, Josh Staunton also hit the post with the rebound scrambled to safety.

Ebbsfleet’s goalkeeper, Nathan Ashmore, produced a fine reaction save to deny Reece Grego-Cox before the home side broke the deadlock a couple of minutes before the break.

Sam Nagri was brought down by a clumsy challenge just inside the box and Danny Kedwell stepped up to confidently despatch the spot kick.

Just four minutes in the second period saw Kedwell and his side double their tally. Kedwell struck from the edge of the box with his shot taking a massive deflection that left the Woking keeper, Nathan Baxter wrong-footed as the ball rolled past him.

Woking hit back just past the hour when a cross from the left found an unmarked Charlie Carter to climb high and plant a header into the corner of the net.

Ebbsfleet showed great professionalism to see out the final half-hour without too much alarm bar a header from Fabio Saraiva that drifted just wide of a post.

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