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Ebbsfleet United ready to take on Dover Athletic in the Skrill South play-off final at Stonebridge Road

By Steve Tervet
Richard Orlu and Anthony Cook do battle in the league meeting between Ebbsfleet and Dover Picture: Andy Payton

Promotion and revenge will be Ebbsfleet United’s if they can overcome fierce rivals Dover Athletic in non-league football’s biggest grudge match at a packed Stonebridge Road on Saturday.

Up to 5,000 fans will squeeze into the ground for the Skrill South play-off final which will finally settle the feud which has gone on all season.

Fleet manager Steve Brown has been public enemy No.1 at Crabble since he left Dover last summer to succeed Liam Daish, taking six Whites players with him.

And the rivalry between Brown and Whites boss Chris Kinnear comes to a head this weekend, with Conference Premier football awaiting the victors.

The managers were involved in a tunnel bust-up after the last meeting at Stonebridge Road in December, with Brown refusing to shake Kinnear’s hand after the game. Dover won 2-0 that day to complete the double over Ebbsfleet but Brown is determined to have the last laugh.

He said: "That was my raw emotion. You guys don’t know an awful amount that went on – I do. It was raw emotion on the day. Whether you think it was right or wrong, I’ll leave you to decide.

"In terms of dealing with it this time and how I deal with it on Saturday, you’ll just have to wait and see.

"The players want to turn those two losses we had in the league into a big victory on Saturday.

"A whole season rides on this. We go into Saturday knowing we’ve got a fantastic opportunity, a 50-50 chance, of playing Skrill Premier football next year."

Dean Rance is suspended but Michael Corcoran could take his place in midfield after serving a three-match ban. And there are injury concerns over striker Ben May and defender Anthony Acheampong. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Full story in the Gravesend Messenger.

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