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Ebbsfleet 1-1 Lincoln City
EBBSFLEET United were denied a first win in seven games as Lincoln City left it late to claim a 1-1 draw on a cold Saturday afternoon at Stonebridge Road.
In a scrappy match, which was low on quality, Tom Phipp’s long range strike looked like it was going to give the Fleet all three points, until Conner Robinson volleyed in with seconds remaining.
Fleet manager Liam Daish made one change from the XI which started the 2-2 draw against Dartford on New Year’s Day, with Lanre Azeez replacing James Folkes.
Imps boss David Holdsworth fielded a fluid 4-4-2 formation, with captain Alan Power at the heart of their attacking play.
Lincoln made the better start and Power hit the bar early on with a curling shot struck from long range.
However, they were unable to make the most of this positive start and the quality in the match soon dropped, as both teams gave the ball away on a regular basis.
Ebbsfleet’s first chance of the match came in the 22nd minute when Paul Lorraine’s poor first touch in the area allowed keeper Paul Farman to narrow the angle and save the Fleet captain’s shot.
In the 36th minute Ebbsfleet took the lead when Tom Phipp unleashed a brilliant 25-yard shot which flew past Farman and into the top corner.
The hosts then had a penalty appeal turned down when Liam Enver-Marum’s close-range shot was blocked by Andrew Boyce, who may have used his hand, yet the referee was unconvinced and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
Lincoln nearly equalised early on in the second half as Nicky Nicolau hit the bar, but the Fleet soon began to dominate play without having many opportunities to show for it.
Enver-Marum was booked for diving shortly before he had a glancing header fly across goal and wide.
However, the Fleet’s domination subsided and Lincoln started to push for a leveller.
Phipp was forced to clear a header off the line and then Preston Edwards saved a header from Jamie Taylor as the hosts started to drop deep.
The Fleet did look dangerous on the counter-attack and Farman did well to turn Ashley Carew’s shot past the post.
Lincoln were awarded a succession of free-kicks in the final 10 minutes but looked like they were heading for defeat until Robinson volleyed in Taylor’s 94th minute cross to split the points.
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Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Stone, Lorraine, Walsh, Howe, Azeez, Phipp, Barrett, Carew (Bellamy 88), Enver-Marum, Elder. Subs not used: Menz, Blake, Fakinos, Williams. Att: 889.
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