Ebbsfleet United 4 Southport 1
By Steve Tervet
Ebbsfleet boosted their Blue Square Bet
Premier survival hopes with a priceless win over Southport on
The Fleet tore into their visitors from the
first whistle, scoring three goals inside the first 14 minutes and
adding a fourth before the half-hour mark. Southport pulled a goal
back early in the second period but they never looked like
salvaging anything from the wreckage.
Liam Daish’s starting line-up featured two
changes from the Fleet team which started Tuesday night’s 3-0
defeat at Alfreton. Neil Barrett returned after illness and Stefan
Payne started for the first time since injuring his foot at Grimsby
on February 26. Danny Hattersley made his Southport after signing
on loan from Stockport earlier in the week.
The home side made the perfect start when they
opened the scoring on six minutes. Payne’s persistence earned him a
yard of space in the box and Liam Bellamy met his square pass with
a thumping shot which flew into the bottom corner.
Great work by Joe Howe set up the second goal
on 11 minutes. The Fleet left-back scrapped to win possession and
he then delivered a cross which Payne headed powerfully into the
Just three minutes later, it was 3-0. Ashley
Carew swept over a free-kick from the right and Nathan Elder
connected with an effort which eventually found its way past Port
keeper Tony McMillan.
At the other end, Chris Almond played in Shaun
Whalley for Southport but Bellamy denied him with a superb sliding
tackle just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Ebbsfleet’s afternoon got even better on 28
minutes. Carew’s right-wing corner was headed goalwards by Elder
and Matt Godden (pictured) bundled the ball home for his first
goal since rejoining the club on loan from Scunthorpe.
Home goalkeeper Preston Edwards was finally
called into action on the stroke of half-time when he got down low
to keep out Sean Clancy’s well-struck effort.
The visitors were sent out early for the
second half and they looked like a different side when play
restarted. Sean Clancy had already thumped a shot against the post
by the time Almond drilled a 20-yard effort beyond the reach of
Edwards. Shaun Whalley then sent a cross fizzing through the
six-yard box, with neither attackers of defenders able to get a
However, the Fleet stemmed the tide and they
began to assert themselves again. The excellent Payne played in
Godden on the counter-attack and his shot flashed across the face
of goal. Carew then drove a shot past the post as the men in red
shirts looked to extend their advantage.
Almond should have doubled his tally with a
low shot which beat Edwards but flashed just wide of the far post.
Whalley went even closer moments later when he unloaded with a
fierce shot from 25 yards. The ball flew past Edwards and struck
the underside of the crossbar, bouncing down and away to
In the end, though, Daish’s side closed out
the game with relative ease. They visit Cambridge United on
Ebbsfleet: Edwards; Phipp,
Lorraine, Walsh, Howe; Payne (Azeez 83mins), Carew, Barrett,
Bellamy; Elder, Godden (Enver-Marum 77mins). Subs not used: Blake,
Menz, Williams. Attendance: 603.
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