TO the delight of manager Liam Daish, Ebbsfleet recovered from a nightmare start and managed to take a point from league leaders Grimsby Town in a well earned 1-1 draw at Stonebridge Road.
Grimsby made the perfect start when Marcus Marshall’s third minute strike put the Mariners in an early lead.
But Matt Godden’s 42nd minute equaliser ensured the honours were shared and Daish was happy with the performance, praising a number of his players after they came from behind to seal a point.
He said: “We went a goal down to their first attack but the lads showed a lot of character.
“I thought it was a tough game against the league leaders.
“Fair play to them, I can see why they are top, they have got some good players.
“Everyone played well.
“We created some chances and I was pleased to see Matt Godden score.
“He nearly got the winner as well.
“Last week Lanre Azeez was fantastic and although we didn’t get the result, he played at the same standard today up against a good left back.
“He is learning, he will get stronger, and he will be a great asset.
“Phil Walsh and Patrick Ada also stepped in well today, they looked strong and we limited them.
“The two centre halves were wonderful for us, they had to be today.
“I was without Ram Marwa, Nathan Elder and Paul Lorraine - they are three really strong players who we still have to come back to the squad as well.
“I thought we were really unlucky last week in the Trophy.
“We have gone out there and shown we are half decent today, we created a lot of chances I just think there is a confidence in what we are doing."
Marshall punished a slow start from the home side with a beautiful right foot curled effort from 18 yards.
His strike sailed past Preston Edwards into the top corner with just three minutes gone.
The Fleet quickly recovered and began to get the ball down and reaped the rewards.
Ashley Carew’s mazy run ended in a deflected curled effort, Godden was the first to react ad his close range header was wonderfully saved by James McKeown.
Walsh then headed over from six yards and at the other end Edwards was equal to a similar Ross Hannah effort.
Ebbsfleet, who grew into the game, then inflicted a long spell of pressure of their own, which eventually resulted in an equaliser.
Tom Phipp’s cross was deflected and again Godden was the only one to follow it in, the striker tapped in from a couple of yards out to even the score just before half-time.
The second half, while no less exciting, saw both sides restricted to half chances and long range efforts. Godden and Carew both had strikes from distance blocked whilst Marshall forced a spectacular save from Edwards on 70 minutes.
Nevertheless with five minutes to go it looked as if Ebbsfleet were going to seal all three points.
A routine back-pass nearly had calamitous results as McKeown slipped presenting Godden with an open goal.
It seemed the striker only had to slot it home from 10 yards, but somehow McKeown got back and clawed it behind for a corner.
It was a well earned point for Ebbsfleet who play again tomorrow against Cambridge United.
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