10:14am Monday 26th March 2012
By Charlie Sewell
EBBSFLEET United cemented their mid-table position by beating struggling Kettering Town by a solitary Ricky Shakes goal at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.
The home side dominated from the outset and were never truly threatened.
Gozie Ugwu had his header cleared off the line by Sol Davis after five minutes before Neil Barrett forced Laurie Walker into a save four minutes later.
The Fleet then saw their commanding performance rewarded with a goal when David Bridges’ poor header back to his keeper was intercepted by Shakes, who poked the ball into the back of the net midway through the first half.
Ugwu then had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but saw his lob drift wide.
And Ugwu proved threatening again when he met a Shakes cross with his head, but saw his effort blocked by Bridges.
Liam Enver-Marum outmuscled struggling defender Bridges 13 minutes before the interval and was through on goal, only to have his extravagant finish easily saved.
The second half went much the same way as the first with Ebbsfleet untested by the Poppies.
Ugwu had the best opportunity of the match in the 54th minute after skipping past two defenders and rounding the keeper with the goal gaping from six yards.
But after doing all the hard work, he blasted over to the bemusement of the crowd.
In the dying moments Ebbsfleet had a chance to put the icing on the cake but Shakes’ cross was just taken off the toe of Enver-Marum by a defender.
This result sees Ebbsfleet all but guarantee safety in the middle of the table as they look to end the season strongly.
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Ebbsfleet: Cronin, Stone, Lorraine, West (Pinney 66), Shakes, Howe, Enver-Marum, Smith, Ugwu (Phipp 78), Barrett, Bellamy (Marwa 54). Subs not used: Willock, McNeil. Att: 957.
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