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Ebbsfleet United 1 Charlton Athletic 0 match report

By Steve Tervet
Matt Godden, the Fleet goalscorer, closes down Charlton defender Terrell Thomas Picture: Paul Jarvis

A penalty from Matt Godden fired Ebbsfleet to victory over Charlton on Wednesday night.

The former Scunthorpe striker scored from the spot on 74 minutes to sink the Championship side, who put the Fleet under plenty of pressure at Stonebridge Road.

Ebbsfleet, though, defended well and goalkeeper Brandon Hall pulled off some terrific saves.

Godden's goal, his first since joining the Fleet on a permanent basis, rewarded a positive display by Steve Brown's side, who beat Dagenham & Redbridge 4-0 on Saturday.

There was one new name on the Ebbsfleet team sheet, with out-of-contract Dover player Lloyd Harrington among the substitutes. Brown paired new signings Charlie Sheringham and Godden up front, while Matt Johnson and Tom Fraser were both given a start in midfield.

Charlton had to make a late change to their starting XI when striker Zack Ansah pulled a muscle in the warm-up. In came trialist Andy Robinson, who was with Bolton last season.

The visitors' side was a mix of senior pros and development players.

It didn't take long for the first chance to arrive - 30 seconds, to be exact. Fraser's deep cross was touched by Johnson into the path of Sheringham, whose soft shot was easily gathered by Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips.

At the other end, Chris Solly's right-wing cross was volleyed goalwards by Simon Church and Hall sprang to his left to keep the shot out.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis then centred from the Addicks left but Church skied his effort at the near post.

Play switched from end to end and both teams passed the ball well, Ebbsfleet not afraid to mix it with their more illustrious opponents.

Jack Munns challenges Joe Howe as Matt Johnson looks on Picture: Paul Jarvis

Joe Howe cut inside from right-back and floated a left-footed cross onto the head of Godden, who forced another save from Phillips.

Back came the Addicks. Jack Munns spread a fine ball wide into the path of Church, who shot over.

Anthony Acheampong headed a McMahon cross tamely at Phillips and it then needed an excellent Kenny Clark tackle to stop Church in his tracks as the former Reading striker was about to pull the trigger.

Church was certainly the stand-out player in the first half. He dribbled away from Howe down the inside-left channel and fired a low shot towards the bottom corner, but Hall was equal to it.

Slowly the Football League side tightened their grip on proceedings, with Loic Nego bursting down the right and lashing a shot into the Plough End.

Half-time arrived with the scoresheet still blank, but the Fleet needed Hall to come to their rescue again just before referee Dave Rock blew for time. Munns set up Jordan Cousins for a strike from the edge of the box and Hall tipped his wicked drive over the bar.

Hall was back in action at the start of the second half. Solly sprinted past McMahon and when his sharp cross hit the onrushing Nego, the Fleet keeper was almost wrong-footed - but he managed to sort his feet out and grab the bouncing ball.

Munns missed his kick when Cousins picked him out with a good ball from the Charlton right, and the same player had another good chance moments later. Munns looked set to convert Nego's cross at the back post but Chris Sessegnon, who'd just come on as a substitute, made a timely block.

As time ticked away, and the Addicks rang the changes, Ebbsfleet edged forward.

McMahon was fouled on the right-hand corner of the box with 16 minutes left and when Mr Rock pointed to the spot - to the surprise of plenty inside the ground - Godden slammed his penalty down the middle.

A free-kick from substitute Anthony Cook flashed over in the closing stages.

Ebbsfleet: Hall, Howe, Acheampong (Harrington 77mins), Clark, Palmer (Sessegnon 61mins), Osborn, Fraser (Cook 61mins), Johnson, McMahon, Sheringham (Bricknell 75mins), Godden. Subs not used: P Edwards, Corcoran, Mazzone.

Charlton: Phillips, Solly (Pyke 73mins), Gomez, Thomas, Holmes-Dennis, Cousins, Nego (Browne 73mins), Munns (Jeffrey 66mins), Church (Umerah 76mins), Robinson (Muldoon 55mins), Tucudean. Subs not used: Beeney, A Edwards, Layne.

Attendance: 1,416.

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