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Home   Gravesend   Sport   Article

Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Preston Edwards saves a late Concord Rangers penalty to secure a Skrill South play-off place

25 April 2014
by Steve Tervet

 

Preston Edwards added another memorable chapter to his Ebbsfleet United story on Thursday night when his late penalty save at Concord Rangers secured a 2-1 win and sent the Fleet into the Skrill South play-offs.

The goalkeeper was apoplectic when referee Neil Hair awarded Concord a spot-kick after Osei Sankofa and Lewis Taafe tangled in the Ebbsfleet box.

He said: "I thought it was a disgraceful decision. Osei’s tackled the guy and the guy’s come into Osei. The lino’s flagged for a foul on Sankofa but the referee’s given a penalty. He didn’t even want to listen to the linesman. There’s all the team saying: 'hang on a second, the lino’s flagging to say it was a foul' and he’s given a penalty."

Mr Hair was the same referee who famously sent Edwards off after 10 seconds for a professional foul against Farnborough in 2011.

Edwards was just as angry nine days earlier, when the Concord game was abandoned due to floodlight failure at the Aspect Arena with Ebbsfleet 2-0 up in the 52nd minute. He posted the following message on Twitter after the game but later apologised to Beachboys chairman Antony Smith.

Edwards said: "I made an unreasonable comment on Twitter. I said sorry to Concord, it was a heat-of-the-moment thing. We were 2-0 up and I said things I shouldn’t have said. The crowd were giving me stick the whole game (in the replay). I was fuming, with what was going to happen, after the penalty decision."

But Edwards, so often the Fleet's hero in recent years, was about to rescue them again.

He said: "If you go onto the pitch, there’s two big holes, where the left foot is planted by a right-footer on the penalty spot. I just thought 'he can’t wrap his foot here because he’ll hurt his ankle'. I even said it at half-time, so I knew he was going to open his body up and go to my left-hand side. Luckily enough, I saved it."

That Edwards was able to rationalise through the red mist was remarkable.

He said: "To be fair, I produce my best moments when I’m angry. You’ve just got to keep calm, hope for the best and it came for me. I was jumping up and down afterwards, really happy, just delighted."

Video courtesy of sportinessex.com.

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