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Ebbsfleet boss relieved after Folkestone win
EBBSFLEET United manager Steve Brown revealed he was relieved to be into the next round of the FA Cup after Saturday’s narrow 1-0 second qualifying round home win over Folkestone Invicta.
After taking the lead early on through a Daryl McMahon free-kick, the hosts never really looked truly comfortable against their lower league opponents and were almost punished for not taking their chances when Invicta’s Dane Luchford hit the post.
Yet Ebbsfleet managed to see the game out and Brown was happy to record his first ever win in the competition as a manager, especially after a lacklustre start to the season which has seen his side win just one league game.
The Stonebridge Road boss said: “I thought we were good value for the lead in the first half and should’ve been two or three up but in the second we were a little flat.
“We allowed Folkestone to control parts of the game and it became a case of seeing out the game.
“When you don’t perform well but still manage to win, it’s a nice feeling, especially in the FA Cup.
“It’s glass half full because with the way things have been going I have been half glass empty recently and I’ve got to stop feeling that way.
“A win is a win and it was a potential banana skin.”
Brown added: “It’s a game of fine lines and Folkestone hit the bar, which is a game-changing moment, but I’ve been saying that about us for the last seven weeks.
“Their guy has made one of the best blocks I’ve ever seen from Billy Bricknell five-yards out, so we’ve also had opportunities in the second half.
“When you’re trying to get teams to pass and play, then you get a performance like that, it looks worse than it is.
“We’ve had five or six great opportunities and they might have hit the post, but I think it would’ve been unjust had we not got the result.”
After a good showing in the first half, the Fleet were put on the back-foot in the second period and Brown was unhappy with the lack in quality from his side.
The manager said: “I felt there was a lack of composure in the second half, which might be because we keep drawing games.
“There might be a lack of confidence when we’re 1-0 up and the opposition get a period of the game where they get to control it.
“Once we get the lead, we’re tough to break down and we don’t give away many opportunities, which is a big plus point of this side.
“It’s just a case of making sure that once you’ve got the lead, you try and get a second and a third, which we did in the first half but then took our foot off in the second.
“The win is important for morale and confidence.
“We can’t take our foot off the pedal.
“With the draws we’ve had, winning is a great habit and I’m delighted we’re into the next round.”
The Fleet next face Sittingbourne away in the Kent Senior Cup tomorrow before heading to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Injured duo Stacy Long and Michael Corcoran are expected to sit out Tuesday but Brown is hopeful they will be fit for the weekend league fixture.
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