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Ebbsfleet United midfielder Daryl McMahon desperate for play-off success after losing two finals with Farnborough and Dover Athletic

By Steve Tervet

Play-off finals carry nothing but bad memories for Daryl McMahon and the Ebbsfleet captain is desperate to put that right against Dover on Saturday.

McMahon is gearing up for his third Conference South play-off final in four seasons, having suffered heartbreak on both previous occasions.

Daryl McMahon in play-off semi-final action against Bromley Picture: Andy Payton

He was in the Farnborough side beaten 4-2 by Liam Daish’s Ebbsfleet in 2011 and McMahon was then sent-off in last season’s final, playing for Dover against Salisbury. The Whites lost that game 3-2 and it proved to be McMahon’s final appearance for Dover, with Ebbsfleet paying £13,000 for his services in June.

The midfielder also has two promotions on his CV, with Leyton Orient (League 2) in 2006 and Farnborough (Southern League) in 2010 but he has unfinished business when it comes to the play-offs.

He said: "It isn’t a nice feeling, losing those games. I desperately want to win on Saturday.

"Ourselves, Dover, Sutton and Bromley were all expected to be near the top of the table. We all expected to be fighting for promotion, so when you get there in the end, you want to win so badly."

Looking back, he said: "The first one, when we got beat by Ebbsfleet 4-2, they deserved to win the game. We probably had the better players but they were a better team than us.

"We had good individuals at Farnborough but we weren’t getting paid at the time and weren’t training. We played the semi-final and we had a week when we didn’t train, leading up to the final. It was difficult circumstances.

Daryl McMahon trudges off after being red-carded in the play-off final at Salisbury Picture: Ady Kerry

"Last season was a difficult one, Salisbury away. I can’t remember too much about the game but obviously I got sent-off. At the time, it was 2-1 and they were breaking through on halfway. I thought I had to bring the lad down, otherwise it was 3-1.

"In the end, we scored to get 2-2, so it might have been the right decision. But they’re not fond memories when you lose play-off finals, not fond at all."

Video courtesy of Football Exclusives.

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