Ebbsfleet United 1 Maidenhead United 1
Michael Thalassitis scores
Ebbsfleet's slow start to the season continued on Bank Holiday Monday when they were held to a draw by Maidenhead at Stonebridge Road.
It was the third time in four games the Fleet have shared the points this season and the result leaves Steve Brown still looking for his first win as a manager.
Ahead through a 10th-minute Michael Thalassitis penalty, Ebbsfleet had chances to extend their lead but the visitors pegged them back just before the interval.
And stalemate ensued in a second half desperately low on quality, with neither side doing enough to merit leaving with maximum points.
The one change from the Ebbsfleet team which drew 1-1 at Eastbourne on Saturday saw Dagenham loanee Alex Osborn make his full debut in attack, with Billy Bricknell dropping to the bench. Ben May was originally named among the Fleet substitutes but he pulled up in the warm-up and Tom Phipp was called into the squad as a last-minute replacement.
Brown's side came roaring out of the traps.
Anthony Cook whipped in a free-kick from the left and Thalassitis forced goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins to fingertip his header round the post.
Then a slide-rule pass from Thalassitis sent Osborn racing away and his shot deflected behind for a corner.
It seemed only a question of when the opening goal would come and so it proved. Osborn's persistence forced a mistake in the Magpies defence and when Thalassitis got his toe to the ball ahead of Putnins, referee Carl Brook pointed to the penalty spot.
Thalassitis stepped up and sent Putnins the wrong way from 12 yards.
Ebbsfleet, urged on from the technical area by an increasingly vocal Brown, looked to keep the tempo high in sweltering temperatures.
But the chances dried up and Maidenhead hit back with an equaliser against the run of play three minutes before the break. Reece Tison-Lascaris was played in by Danny Green and he showed composure to slide the ball under Edwards from an angle.
Dominic Green brings the ball under control against Maidenhead
A moment of laxity from Aiden Palmer almost handed Maidenhead a second goal soon after the restart. Green easily dispossessed the Fleet left-back and played the ball into the path of substitute Michael Malcolm, who wastefully shot over when he should have hit the target.
Cook's trickery earned him a yard of space in midfield and he played a clever pass for Thalassitis, although the striker's touch was heavy and allowed Putnins to gather.
Maidenhead began to take the initiative as the energy drained away from the home side. Adrian Clifton crossed for Richard Pacquette, who headed over.
Bricknell, brought on for Thalassitis, was sprung clear by a Daryl McMahon through-ball but he had no support and had to try his luck with a shot which Putnins gathered.
A curling free-kick from Cook, 25 yards out, then had Putnins flying across his goal to save.
But the grandstand finish the home crowd were hoping for never materialised and Brown's side have just three points to their name from a possible 12 in The Skrill South.
On Saturday, Ebbsfleet travel to Dorchester Town.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards; Howe (Sankofa 52mins), Lorraine, Huke, Palmer; Dominic Green, Rance, McMahon, Cook; Thalassitis (Bricknell 71mins), Osborn (Phipp 82mins). Subs not used: Hall, Long.
Maidenhead: Putnins, Gilbey, Behzadi, Ahmidi, Nisbet, Ruby, Danny Green, Clifton (Brown 88mins), Pacquette, Mendy (Malcolm 46mins), Tison-Lascaris (Ujah 74mins). Subs not used: Pook, Nlate.
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