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Ebbsfleet 3-1 Gateshead
LIAM Daish kept his feet firmly on the ground after Ebbsfleet United enjoyed a massive home win against fellow Conference strugglers Gateshead on Saturday.
On loan striker Josh Scott twice put the home side ahead in the first half, but Liam Enver-Marum put the game out of sight with a header midway through the second period.
Fleet remain at the foot of the table but are now within four points of safety, and Gateshead, as a result.
Daish said: “It has been a long time coming.
“It has been a long month, especially last Friday when we lost 4-0 to Macclesfield, but it is good to get back to winning ways. “The lads deserved it today.”
Completely out of character from a side who have experienced a series of poor starts in home games this season, it was Ebbsfleet who flew out of the blocks by taking a third minute lead in this six-pointer.
Joe Howe found himself in space down the right and his inviting cross picked out Scott at the back post, the striker obliged by slotting home.
Fleet continued to press and Neil Barrett will feel he probably should have scored five minutes later, but his header just trickled wide of the post.
Against the run of play Preston Edwards was forced to make a challenge on the edge of the area, but Josh Gillies failed to capitalise on the error and somehow put his placed effort wide of an open goal.
However, it wasn’t long until Gateshead were level.
Jack Saville appeared to get in Edwards’ way and the Fleet defender’s poor header fell to Gillies, whose deflected shot went past the keeper and into the bottom right hand corner on 25 minutes.
Ebbsfleet didn’t let their heads go down and 10 minutes later they were in the lead again as Scott added a second when Craig Stone’s delivery to the back post was once again clinically finished by the striker.
Daish said of his loanee forward: “Josh took his goals well.”
The second half was substantially less eventful then the first.
On the hour mark Tom Phipp had a good shout for a penalty turned down as his volley seemed to strike a Gateshead hand.
But five minutes later Ebbsfleet secured victory as Enver-Marum headed home from a Gareth Gwillim corner.
Daish said: “I thought Gareth’s delivery was really good today, we always looked like we were going to get on the end of it.
“If you do better than the other team in both boxes then you are well on your way to winning games and today I thought we did that.”
The Fleet continued to look the more likely and on 80 minutes man-of-the-match Stefan Payne beat his defender, but Bartlett was equal to his venomous strike.
Daish didn’t get carried away at the final whistle, though.
He said: “We are still bottom, we know that.
“The players dug in today and we will feel better about ourselves going into the next game.
“You have got to remember why you win games and today we started strongly.
“I think that went a long way to helping us to win.”
Ebbsfleet have two massive home fixtures next week against Stockport on Saturday (3pm) and Hereford on February 19 (7.45pm). Daish added: “It is going to be a massive week for us.
“I told the lads to enjoy the weekend because we are in for a hard run from now on with Saturday and Tuesday games.”
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