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May's Eastbourne brace delights Ebbsfleet boss
EBBSFLEET United manager Steve Brown praised striker Ben May’s match-winning performance following Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup third qualifying round home victory over Eastbourne Borough.
May had endured a frustrating start to the season, with a back injury forcing him to sit out numerous fixtures.
But the striker scored his first competitive goals for the club on Saturday as he grabbed a brace to send the Fleet through to the next round and a dream home tie with neighbours Dartford.
And Brown feels Saturday’s double will help give the forward a confidence boost which will benefit the whole team.
“We spoke in the dressing room afterwards about how the performances Ben had been putting in deserved goals,” the manager said.
“If you look at Weston-super-Mare away, he created three goals, so it was pleasing for me his work-rate and effort was rewarded with two goals this week.
“His confidence should’ve been OK anyway, as I think the performances he’s been putting in have been brilliant.
“But strikers live, breathe and feed off of goals, so it will please him even more he’s managed to get on the scoresheet.
“He’s dangerous and will score all types of goals, such as getting on the end of set pieces or striking goals from distance.
“I think he found the first 10 games very frustrating, so I’m pleased for him that he’s now back out on the pitch and putting in great performances.
“His back still needs managing, as he’s had an operation on it in the past.
“He’ll wake up the day after a game and I’m sure he’ll be stiff, so we’ve got to make sure we’re on top of it and managing it right.
“But from the moment he got back into the side there have been no repercussions at all.”
The cup victory made it five successive wins for the Fleet, including three in the past week, and Brown was keen to stress his players need to keep preparing for games in the same way in order to keep the good form going.
He said: “We came into a very tough run as we played Weston-super-Mare who were sat third, Eastleigh sat top and Eastbourne sat fifth.
“Yet we’ve scored 11 and conceded one, which brings a confidence and belief to the side that we can challenge and beat the best in this league.
“However, you can’t afford to take your foot off the pedal at any stage in football at whatever level you’re at.
“If you think you’re on top of football, it will soon bite you in the backside, so we need to approach all the games the same as we have done in the last seven days.”
Brown added: “We knew we weren’t far away as we’ve always created chances, it’s just we drew too many games.
“But now you see us converting the chances we’re creating and winning games, which should renew our confidence.
“I’m buoyed by the last seven days and I hope the supporters and players are, too.
“We’ve now got ourselves into a position where we’re one round away from potentially drawing a league club and at the start of the cup run, our aim was to try and be in the hat with a chance of drawing a league club.
“Everyone asks what we want from the draw and we’ve been very fortunate to have two home ties, so I’d like a third if I was being a bit selfish.
“I’d like a third home tie, so we can bring someone to Ebbsfleet and give them a good game.”
Ebbsfleet play host to Gosport Borough on Saturday.
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