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Ebbsfleet 0-0 Stockport
EBBSFLEET United manager Liam Daish admitted Saturday’s scoreless home draw with 10-man Stockport summed up his side’s season.
Stockport’s Alex Kenyon was sent off for an elbow after just half an hour, but despite a number of decent chances, Fleet just could not make the most of their advantage as the game finished 0-0.
Daish said: “We have drawn too many games at home.
“It isn’t two points lost, but it was a really good opportunity to build on what we started last week.
“Again we had an opportunity to take the three points today.
“We had two good opportunities in the second half and a glaring one in the first.
“Paul Lorraine only has to make contact and it is a goal, it has been the story of our season really.
“Earlier this year it was a case of missing these opportunities and then conceding, at least today we didn’t do that.
“We just didn’t get the ball moving quickly enough and we didn’t show enough quality in the final third.”
Ebbsfleet were once again quick out of the blocks, as Gareth Gwillim’s whipped free-kick was met by Lorraine but the skipper could only head wide with just a minute on the clock.
However, it wasn’t long until the visitors carved their first opportunity. A slick passing move saw Matt Mainwaring through on goal, but a brilliant saving tackle from man of the match Craig Stone stopped the winger getting his strike in.
Sean Newton sent a 15th minute free-kick just past Preston Edwards’ post after Gwillim clashed heads with Danny Hattersly on the edge of the area.
But the main talking point of the first half came on the half hour mark, as midfielder Kenyon was sent off for an elbow on Neil Barrett, a decision which prompted little complaint from County’s players or management.
Ebbsfleet dominated the remainder of the first period, but weren’t able to create a clear cut opportunity as both sides went in level at the break.
Stockport manager Darije Kalezic brought Johan Hammer on for Hattersly at half-time to pack out the midfield.
However, the second half didn’t come to life until the hour mark when a short corner ended with Stefan Payne delivering an inviting cross but Josh Scott’s free header was well met by County keeper Daniel O’Donnell.
The 10-men almost grabbed a winner as Lorraine’s wayward pass back missed Edwards and looked to be trickling into the open goal, but luckily for the Ebbsfleet captain his pass struck the side-netting.
From that moment on it was all Ebbsfleet, with Stockport County camped out on the edge of their own area. Loan striker Tobi Alabi headed straight at O’Donnell and Tom Phipp missed a golden opportunity with just seconds on the clock.
Daish added: “I thought Tom Phipp was going to go on and win it for us, but it wasn’t to be.”
Ebbsfleet play again tomorrow evening against Hereford at Stonebridge Road (7.45pm).
Daish added: “We have got a massive game on Tuesday against Hereford, it would have been good to go into that game with back-to-back wins. “We might look to shuffle the pack a little bit.”
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