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Ebbsfleet United manager Steve Brown's reaction to 1-0 defeat to Dover Athletic in Skrill South play-off final

By Steve Tervet

Defeated Ebbsfleet boss Steve Brown watched his side fail to score against Dover on Saturday and then admitted it was always going to be tight.

Brown felt there was little to choose between the two sides as a Nathan Elder goal gave Whites a 1-0 win at Stonebridge Road and promotion to the Conference Premier.

"We knew it was going to be really tight and, unfortunately, it’s not gone our way," said Brown, who is in his first season in charge at Ebbsfleet after leaving the coaching staff at Dover.

"We’re licking our wounds while Dover are looking at their medals and taking selfies. That’s football."

It means Dover won at two teams that finished above them in the final league standings, a fact that Brown said reflected just why Chris Kinnear's men had the best away record in the league.

"They won at Sutton and now they’ve won here at Stonebridge Road," he added.

Ebbsfleet United manager Steve Brown Picture: Andy Payton

"In terms of getting into the play-offs late and making the most of their situation, they’ve absolutely done that.

"Going to Sutton and winning as they did, with 10 men, is a very good result. We knew what was coming our way today but when you have a team that plays the way they do, you know it’s going to be difficult.

Fleet's Billy Bricknell is thwarted by Dover's on loan Gills man Callum Davies. Picture: Andy Payton

"That’s why they have the best away record in the league, because they tend to stop goals first and try to get something on the counter or something from a set-piece. You look at the 90 minutes and it was a tight game.

"There wasn’t much either way. I thought we used the ball better than they did but the only statistic that counts is that they scored one and we didn’t score any."

Read Steve Tervet's match report here

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