Maidenhead frustrate Ebbsfleet United

Anthony Cook (above) went close with a first half free-kick. Picture by Keith Gillard.

Anthony Cook (above) went close with a first half free-kick. Picture by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport
Last updated

Ebbsfleet United are still to book their place in the Conference South play-offs following a disappointing 1-0 away loss to Maidenhead on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

The Fleet put in a flat performance and spurned numerous chances to get back into the game after falling behind to Danny Green’s 43rd minute goal.

Steve Brown made one change from the side which defeated Eastbourne Borough 1-0 on Good Friday, with Michael Thalassitis replacing Billy Bricknell in attack.

Meanwhile, Maidenhead manager Johnson Hippolyte fielded a 4-3-3 formation that featured former Fleet players Lanre Azeez and Jacob Erskine.

It was Azeez who had the first chance of the game, as he showed quick feet to beat Joe Howe on the wing but then saw his shot smothered by keeper Preston Edwards.

Thalassitis then had two chances to open the scoring, as he saw a powerful angled shot from the corner of the penalty area beaten away by home keeper Jonathan Healy before going on to round two defenders on the edge of the area and having a low shot comfortably saved.

Edwards was then alert to save shots from Green and Azeez in quick succession, while Healy turned an Anthony Cook free-kick around the post.

Just when it appeared an uneventful half was drawing to a goalless close, the hosts took the lead when Azeez rolled a pass across the edge of the penalty area to Green, whose scuffed shot bounced into the corner of the net.

It was a goal whicg perhaps summed up how scrappy the half had been and left many Fleet fans hoping their side would come out with renewed purpose after the break, although it took the introduction of top scorer Bricknell before they started to create chances.

Daryl McMahon had a powerful drive from the edge of the area well saved by Healy before the Fleet had a golden opportunity to equalise when Cook’s 18-yard shot hit the post and Bricknell’s follow up was deflected narrowly over with the keeper beaten.

With time running out, Ebbsfleet put the hosts under a lot of positional pressure without creating many more goalscoring chances, the final one falling to Bricknell who had a six-yard half-volley saved by Healy.

The result means Fleet are in fourth place, two points ahead of sixth-placed Dover Athletic with two games to play.

Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Acheampong, Sankofa, Palmer, Cook, McMahon, Rance, Corcoran (Osborne), May, Thalassitis (Bricknell) Subs not used: Hall, Lorraine, Sessegnon. Att: 398.

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