Published: 22:00, 15 April 2014 |
Updated: 14:12, 23 April 2014
Ebbsfleet were winning 2-0 at Concord on Tuesday night when floodlight failure forced the game to be abandoned.
Steve Brown's side travelled to Canvey Island knowing this was a game they needed to win - and goals from Ben May and Daryl McMahon had them well on their way to three points.
A straight red card for Michael Corcoran, almost immediately after McMahon's goal, changed the complexion of the game and set up an intriguing last 35 minutes.
But that finale never came, because several of the floodlight bulbs around the Aspect Arena went out moments later. With some areas of the pitch in darkness, the players left the field, and after waiting around 30 minutes, referee Ashvin Degnarain called the game off.
It had been an absorbing contest up to that point.
Midfielder Dean Rance returned from the leg injury which kept him out at Sutton on Saturday and he took the place of Alex Osborn, who wasn't involved at all. Stacy Long was named on the Fleet bench after returning from his loan spell at Eastbourne Borough.
The visitors made a bright start but it was Concord who registered the first attempt on goal. James White's shot reared up just in front of Preston Edwards and the Fleet goalkeeper did well to grab it.
But then, with 15 minutes on the clock, Ebbsfleet scored a goal of real quality. Aiden Palmer did well to outmuscle his man on the touchline and knock it infield for Billy Bricknell, who in turn showed great skill to spread it to Anthony Cook on the far side. His cross drifted all the way across to May, who brought the ball under control before shooting across Jamie Butler into the far corner with his left foot.
Concord were almost level straight away. A neat passing move on the edge of the box created space for Lewis Taafe, who shot against the post when he found himself one-on-one with Edwards.
The woodwork was rattling again moments later. Concord captain Tony Stokes drove his shot against the same post and Gary Ogilvie looked set to roll the rebound into the unguarded net, but Edwards managed to pull off a crucial save.
Ebbsfleet were being penned back in their own half as Rangers turned up the pressure.
Joe Gardner picked out Taafe with a deep cross from the right and Edwards had to claw his header out of the top corner.
But despite spending most of the first half on the back foot, the Fleet could have been 2-0 up at the break. Cook was fouled 25 yards out and he curled the free-kick squarely against the post with Butler rooted to the spot.
The second half exploded into life with two big incidents in the space of a minute.
First, the visitors doubled their lead when Daryl McMahon scored with a a brilliant volley from the edge of the box. Edwards' long kick forward fell at the feet of the Fleet skipper, who gave Butler no chance with a majestic strike.
No sooner had Brown's side gone 2-0 in front, though, than they went down to 10 men. Corcoran was sent-off for a late tackle in front of the dugouts and that left the game intriguingly poised - until the lights went out.
Concord: Butler, Gordon, Fry, Gardner, King, Goodacre, Taafe, White, Ogilvie, Collins, Stokes. Subs not used: Glozier, Lampe, Njie, Miles, Cawley.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Acheampong, Sankofa, Palmer, McMahon, Corcoran, Rance, Cook, May, Bricknell. Subs not used: Lorraine, Long, Sessegnon, Thalassitis, Hall.
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