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Ebbsfleet United appeal to the Football Association about their abandoned Skrill South game at Concord Rangers

By Steve Tervet
Peter Varney Picture: Steve Crispe

Ebbsfleet United have appealed to the FA against the Football Conference ruling that their abandoned game at Concord Rangers must be replayed from the start.

The Fleet were winning 2-0 - and were down to 10 men - at the Aspect Arena on Tuesday night when floodlight failure forced the game to stop, seven minutes into the second half.

After much discussion between officials from both clubs and a 30-minute wait, referee Ashvin Degnarain called the game off when the lights failed to come back on.

Ebbsfleet were angry after the game and now they've taken things a step further.

In a statement on the club website, vice-chairman Peter Varney said: "We have outlined the circumstances as we see it of the events of Tuesday evening and set out our case to the Football Association.

"Other than that this is not an appropriate time to make any further comment until a hearing has taken place."

Speaking after the game, Ebbsfleet manager Steve Brown said: "It’s angered every player and it’s angered me and it’s angered our staff and it’s angered the vice-chairman.

"At the very least, the FA have got to look at the rule. It’s a very antiquated rule and they obviously don’t have to put lads through 42 games a season and come to places like this and dig deep to win a football match, for that to happen and then come back again starting from zero minutes. It doesn’t make sense to me.

"From a man that’s in the middle of it, managing a football team, that rule is a complete waste of time. In Europe they would come back and start on 56 minutes and it would be 10 v 11. You finish the game and I can see sense in that.

"Concord don’t lose anything, the result doesn’t stand and they can come back and have another go at us in a week’s time or whatever. It’s just a ridiculous law. I don’t see any sense in an abandonment for floodlight failure when you’re 2-0 up and you have to come back and start from scratch."

Tensions were running high on both sides.

Concord manager Danny Cowley responded to the suggestion that his side wanted the game called off by labelling the notion of a conspiracy as "ridiculous", with Rangers already facing a fixture backlog.

And the club's chairman, Antony Smith, took to Twitter to defend Concord's position. He also criticised Brown for his post-match comments.

Ebbsfleet are fourth in Skrill South and Concord sit eighth, so the fixture is important to both clubs in the race for a play-off place. Had the Fleet won on Tuesday, they would have moved six points clear of sixth-placed Dover Athletic.

A new date for the fixture had not been confirmed.

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