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Maidenhead hold Ebbsfleet in Bank Holiday stalemate
EBBSFLEET United continue to search for their first win of the season after a disappointing Bank Holiday 1-1 draw at home to unbeaten Maidenhead United.
On a scorching hot Monday afternoon, most of the action came in the opening 45 minutes, with a Michael Thalassitis penalty for the Fleet being cancelled out by a Reece Tison-Lascaris goal just before half-time.
A point was the least the visitors deserved, as they survived a barrage of early Ebbsfleet chances before going on to frustrate the hosts through some dogged defending and dangerous counter-attacking football.
Ebbsfleet manager Steve Brown made one change from the side that started in the 1-1 draw away to Eastbourne Borough, with striker Alex Osborn replacing Billy Bricknell, who was struggling for full fitness with a back injury.
Maidenhead manager Johnson Hippolyte fielded a solid 4-4-2 formation that retained the ball well and were at times very difficult to break down.
The hosts made a lightning quick start to the match and forced visiting goalkeeper Elvjis Putnins into two high quality saves early on.
Within the first few minutes, Fleet winger Anthony Cook delivered a free-kick into the box that found Thalassitis’ head, but Putnins got down well to claw the ball out from the corner of his goal.
Then some good play between Thalassitis and Osborn allowed Osborn to run through on goal, but the Dagenham & Redbridge loanee’s shot was tipped behind by the keeper.
However, on 10 minutes, Putnins was put in trouble by his defence, when Cook charged down a Bobby Behzadi clearance and Thalassitis ran onto the resulting deflection before being tripped in the box by the advancing keeper.
From the resulting penalty, Thalassitis picked himself up and sent Putnins the wrong way to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
After the goal, the game became more even, yet neither side were able to carve out many clear-cut chances with Putnins smothering at Ebbsfleet players’ feet on numerous occasions and the home defence keeping Maidenhead’s attack at bay.
With both sides somewhat lacking in penetration, the equaliser on 42 minutes came as a bit of a surprise.
Tison-Lascaris was played in by Danny Green before finishing well past Preston Edwards from the corner of the area.
After an intriguing, if not action-packed, first half, the second was by contrast a lacklustre affair.
Early on, Green dispossessed Ebbsfleet left-back Aiden Palmer and fed substitute Michael Malcolm, but his curling 20-yard shot went just over Edward’s crossbar.
Then, midway through the half, Thalassitis was played through on goal by Cook, but his heavy first touch allowed Putnins to collect.
Maidenhead, seemingly happy with a point, then switched to five at the back, which frustrated the hosts and meant the clearest chance for a winner Ebbsfleet had came in the final minutes when Putnins dived across his goal to keep out a Cook free-kick.
The result means Ebbsfleet continue their slow start to the season that includes three draws and one loss from four games.
They head to Dorchester Town on Saturday, eager to kick-start their season.
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Ebbsfleet United: Edwards, Howe (Sankofa 52), Palmer, Rance, Lorraine, Huke, D Green, McMahon, Thalassitis (Bricknell 71), Osborn (Phipp 82), Cook Subs not used: Hall, Long. Att: 835
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