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Chelmsford spoil welcome party for new Ebbsfleet owner
THE presence of new Ebbsfleet United owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi was not enough to spur his side on to a first home victory of the season as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Chelmsford City.
It was the first time Al-Humaidi had seen the Fleet play since he rescued the club from extinction this summer.
Despite hitting the woodwork twice, the hosts put in a lacklustre display which lacked the creativity needed to break the resolute visitors down.
Fleet manager Steve Brown made one change from the side that grabbed a last-gasp draw away to Basingstoke Town, with Dominic Green replacing the injured Michael Corcoran in midfield.
Chelmsford were looking to record their second win of the season after four consecutive losses and manager Dean Holdsworth fielded a 4-4-2 formation that looked to break quickly on the counter attack, with striker Tom Derry’s pace a constant threat.
The game got off to a free-flowing start, yet neither side were able to carve out too many clear-cut scoring opportunities.
For the hosts, midfielder Daryl McMahon had a 20-yard dipping half-volley that clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.
Some good work from Derry then set up Robert Edmans, who scuffed his shot in front of an open goal, giving keeper Preston Edwards enough time to race across goal and block Charlie Henry’s finish.
City keeper Carl Petney then made two good saves to first keep out an Anthony Cook free-kick and then a low Dean Rance drive.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with the best chance in the opening stages coming from a Green 18-yard deflected free-kick, which was well saved by Petney’s legs.
Edmans then should have done better with a free header that went wide of the goal, but the visitors did not heed this warning and were punished on 74 minutes.
A sumptuous cross-field ball from Bagasan Graham found Henry on the wing and his cross was delivered towards the unmarked Edmans, who headed home to make it 1-0.
The Fleet almost equalised immediately when McMahon’s angled free-kick flew across goal and struck the inside of the far post before bouncing clear.
This was as close as the hosts got to equalising, though, as, after a flurry of corners, they were caught on the counter-attack in the 83rd minute.
Derry raced up field with the ball and exchanged passes with Graham before finishing from close range to wrap up a deserved 2-0 victory.
The loss leaves Ebbsfleet 16th in the table and they host Boreham Wood – one point below them – on Saturday.
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Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Palmer, Rance, Lorraine, Huke, Green (Osborne 71), McMahon, Thalassitis, Bricknell, Cook. Subs not used: Sankofa, Hall, Long, Phipp. Att: 696.
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