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Ebbsfleet United boss Steve Brown furious after his side's Skrill South game at Concord Rangers was abandoned because of floodlight failure

By Steve Tervet
Steve Brown Picture: Andy Payton
Steve Brown Picture: Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet boss Steve Brown was fuming after Tuesday's game at Concord was abandoned with his side 2-0 up - and down to 10 men after Michael Corcoran was sent-off.

Floodlight failure at the Impact Arena meant play had to be stopped seven minutes into the second half and referee Ashvin Degnarain eventually called the game off.

Brown must now take his side back to Canvey Island for a rematch.

He said: "At the very least, the FA have got to look at the rule. To come back here and start from scratch, zero minutes, the only thing that stands is the red card.

"It’s a very antiquated rule and they obviously don’t have to put lads through 42 games a season and come to places like this and dig deep to win a football match, for that to happen and then come back again starting from zero minutes. It doesn’t make sense to me.

"From a man that’s in the middle of it, managing a football team, that rule is a complete waste of time. In Europe they would come back and start on 56 minutes and it would be 10 v 11. You finish the game and I can see sense in that.

"If you spin it round (and we'd been losing), I’d be inclined to offer them the result - but I know that’s just not going to happen.

"It really does leave a bitter taste in the mouth. We’re two (divisions) off the Football League here and you’re having a game abandoned because a fuse has gone in a fusebox. It’s pretty poor."

The abandonment means Concord are five points off the play-offs with five games still to play by April 26. Ebbsfleet are four places above them in fourth, having played a game more, and Dover's 1-0 loss at leaders Eastleigh on Tuesday means the Fleet are three points better off than their sixth-placed Kent rivals, with a game in hand.

Brown had a message for the Concord manager afterwards.

He said: "If Danny Cowley had anything about him, if they're mathematically outside the play-offs after playing on Friday and Monday or whenever their games are, he should really do the right thing and give us the game.

"I look at the Dover result, I look at us, 2-0 in front, and you’re pretty home and hosed, aren’t you? A win against Eastbourne (on Good Friday) and it’s secured.

"It’s unfair. We seem to have lost everything and they seem to have gained everything. There are so many questions. This just shouldn’t happen in the modern day. I don’t care what level you’re at, this shouldn’t happen."

Brown's frustration was compounded by the fact Corcoran now faces a three-match ban.

He said: "That’s another great rule the FA have come up with. Everything in an abandoned game doesn’t count, bar a sending-off. So again, we’re 2-0 up, three points in the bag, we lose a player potentially for the play-offs if we make it and they don’t lose anything.

"The result doesn’t stand and they can come back and have another go at us in a week’s time or whatever. It’s just a ridiculous law. I don’t see any sense in an abandonment for floodlight failure when you’re 2-0 up and you have to come back and start from scratch. But that’s the FA’s rules and that’s what you have to go by."

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