Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon hailed striker Matt Godden after he netted a hat-trick during Fleet’s 4-2 win over Bishop Stortford at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.

There was drama before kick-off when Joe Howe was originally replaced by Aiden Palmer before a discrepancy about Palmer's eligibility meant that he was replaced by Anthony Acheampong when the game eventually started, ten minutes late.

Godden opened the scoring on six minutes, heading in a Danny Kedwell cross before Tom Bonner scrambled in a second on 23 minutes as Fleet commanded the first half.

Kedwell earned his second assist of the afternoon when his pass found Godden, allowing the in-form forward to score his second before half-time.

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Fleet continued to press in the second half, but it was on 70 minutes when Godden netted his third of the afternoon, latching onto Danny Haynes' cross.

Bishop's Stortford mounted a minor comeback when Frankie Merryfield and Kieron Bywater scored on 75 and 81 minutes respectively, but this did not stop Fleet from securing their first home win in almost two months.

“I thought we absolutely dominated the game. I thought this was the best game we have played all season,” McMahon said. “We played with a new shape and I thought that we were outstanding to be honest.

“I thought we started poorly, even when we got the goal we were not very good, then we started to settle down and we got on the ball.

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“I thought we were very good, very confident and once we got the second goal we were even more confident. It was good to watch.”

McMahon also shed light on what happened before the game: “We brought Aiden into the squad but we were told that we were not sure if we could bring a player from outside the 16 into the starting 11.

“I thought you were allowed to do it but I got the hump and stuck Acheampong in.

“Not many teams could do what we did today, changing the formation at two minutes past three, but the intelligence of the group is very good.”

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After another stunning performance from Godden, McMahon was full of praise for his striker.

“He is an excellent player”, the former Fleet midfielder added.

“He has shown that now we are seeing the real Matt Godden. He has been excellent this year and it does not matter where he plays he still gets goals.

“He is a real live-wire and no matter where he plays he score.”

Focus for McMahon now turns to an FA Trophy third qualifying round fixture against Molesey at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.

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