Brown happy enough for Ebbsfleet to take patient approach in games

News Shopper: Billy Bricknell (number nine) is congratulated after putting Fleet ahead just before half-time Billy Bricknell (number nine) is congratulated after putting Fleet ahead just before half-time

EBBSFLEET boss Steve Brown praised his side’s character as they recorded a sixth successive win with Saturday’s 3-0 FA Trophy home victory over Gloucester City.

After taking a while to break the visitors down, the Fleet won the tie thanks to goals from Billy Bricknell, Michael Thalassitis and a superb long-range free-kick from Daryl McMahon.

Bricknell’s opener came three minutes before the break and it was the third consecutive match Brown’s men have had to wait some time before scoring, although the manager feels this shows a different dimension to his side’s game.

“I thought it was a slow start,” Brown acknowledged.

“The first 45 minutes was a scrappy affair, but we managed to get ourselves in front going into half-time.

“I wasn’t happy with the first-half performance, I didn’t think the tempo was right, nor the pressuring.

“But credit to the players as when we’re not quite getting things right, we’re not conceding goals and we’re actually finding a way to stay in the game, which obviously gives you an advantage once you get a foothold in a match.

“Thankfully we had a word at half-time and the performance was much better in the second 45.”

Brown added: “Our second was a very good counter-attacking goal.

“Preston Edwards threw the ball out and within five or six seconds Michael Thalassitis was on a very strong run that resulted in a goal.

“Then the third was just an incredible free-kick from Daryl McMahon.

“The keeper had taken a couple of steps off of his line, so Daryl whipped it in from 35 yards, which was a very special goal and a great one for the supporters who showed their appreciation.”

After a slow start to the campaign, the Fleet won every single game they played in November.

And Brown feels this is a sign the side is becoming more confident in their play.

He said: “There was a bit of nervousness about our performances earlier in the season when we drew a lot of games, but I think the side is maturing and getting an understanding.

“There’s a unity and togetherness now, which means the team doesn’t panic.

“I thought last Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory away to Hayes & Yeading was very similar to today.

“Sometimes you put that down to the fact both teams are at full fitness at the start of the game, so it can take a long time to get a strong foothold.

“I do think we’re a very fit side and we do get much stronger as the game goes on, which has been evident in some of the performances of late.”

Brown is hopeful striker Ben May, who sustained a trapped nerve against Basingstoke before aggravating the injury when playing Hayes & Yeading, will only be out for seven to 10 days.

However, the manager has admitted it is difficult to place an exact estimate on how long May will be unavailable for.

The Fleet now have a week off, due to Tonbridge Angels having an FA Trophy replay on Tuesday night, before they play host to Whitehawk on Saturday.

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