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Ebbsfleet boss not keen on extended Conference South campaign
EBBSFLEET manager Steve Brown feels it would be unfair to extend the Conference South season despite the recent weather problems decimating the fixture programme.
Many of the division’s sides have seen numerous games called off in the past month, leading some clubs to call for the end of the season to be delayed in order to ease the inevitable congestion.
However, Brown feels an extended campaign would not be fair on clubs such as Ebbsfleet who have spent money on improving their pitches.
He explained: “I can understand why they’re saying the season should be extended.
“If you look at Gosport and Havant, they’ve gone to the latter stages of the Trophy and will be playing Saturday-Tuesday and even Thursdays on some occasions.
“We’re playing Gosport on a Thursday night now, but from our perspective we’ve spent a lot of money on getting the pitch right and spent a lot of money on groundsmen.
“To extend the season would be great for the teams who have got to play catch up, and I can understand their point of view.
“But having spent the money we have in order to make sure it doesn’t happen to us, I think it would be unfair to play all of our games and then have a two or three week gap to allow everyone else to catch up.”
Ebbsfleet again defied the elements at the weekend by comfortably beating Staines Town 3-0 at Stonebridge Road.
Goals from Billy Bricknell, Daryl McMahon and Anthony Acheampong secured the three points and Brown reserved special praise for home debutant Acheampong following his recent deadline day arrival from Barnet.
He said: “The game was excellent. We were comfortably ahead at half-time at 3-0 and the second half was an exercise in making sure we were professional, saw the game out and kept a clean sheet.
“All in all it was a good day with three points and a clean sheet.
“We know Anthony Acheampong’s a threat from set pieces.
“He’s extremely strong in the air and he’s great in both boxes.
“It was great for him to get a goal and one of the things that draws your eye to his statistics is that when Welling went up, he scored seven or eight goals.
“If you’ve got a centre-half coming up at set pieces to get you seven or eight goals, then that’s a big bonus.”
Acheampong limped off injured in the second half, but Brown played down any concerns over the defender’s fitness.
“He had cramp and banged his knee whilst making a challenge just before coming off,” the Stonebridge Road boss said.
“One of the issues you have at this level is when you sign a player that hasn’t been playing regularly, getting fitness has to be done in first team games as we have no reserves.
“I don’t have enough players to play 11 v 11 in training, so the only way you can get them minutes is by playing them in the first team.
“Sometimes when they get to 75 minutes or so, they need to come off as they’re absolutely shattered.
“I don’t think the injury was that bad. I just think it was a combination of cramp and the injury, so it was much easier to bring him off.”
Ebbsfleet’s next game is tomorrow evening in the Kent Senior Cup against Whistable at Stonebridge Road (7.45pm).
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