Ebbsfleet United 0 Chelmsford City 2
Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi (left)
Kuwaiti chairman Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi was at Stonebridge Road to watch Ebbsfleet play for the first time on Tuesday night.
The man whose £600,000 investment saved the north Kent club from extinction in the summer was introduced to the crowd before kick-off.
But Dr Al-Humaidi couldn't inspire the Fleet to their first home league win of the season and he saw late goals from Robert Edmans and Tom Derry fire Chelmsford City to a well-deserved victory.
In the only change to the Ebbsfleet starting XI from Saturday's 2-2 draw at Basingstoke, Dominic Green came into midfield for Michael Corcoran.
The home side had the early territorial advantage, pushing Chelmsford back into their defensive third.
Michael Thalassitis headed a Daryl McMahon cross wide at the near post and the Cypriot striker dragged another shot off target, rushing his effort after Green had chested the ball down.
A right-wing Joe Howe cross then dropped to McMahon on the edge of the box. He failed to get a shot away at first and then fired in a volley which dipped just over the crossbar.
Dean Rance, having scored from distance at the weekend, tried his luck from 25 yards, but this time his radar was off and the ball sailed onto the terracing.
Gradually, the balance of play began to shift towards the visitors.
Mark Hughes flicked a header into the gloves of Preston Edwards and the Fleet keeper then made a terrific save to keep out Charlie Henry's snapshot from a narrow angle. Edmans and Derry had done well to create the opening for him.
Derry was played in by Tom Davis moments later and he should have given City the lead, but his low shot slid wide of the far post with Edwards beaten.
Late in the first half, Anthony Cook whipped a free-kick towards the near post but Pentney was equal to his effort and pushed the ball clear. Pentney thwarted the Fleet again when he got down well to divert Rance's powerful drive away.
Michael Thalassitis goes close with a header for Ebbsfleet (Pic: Andy Payton)
The second period took a while to get going but Ebbsfleet almost broke the deadlock just before the hour. Thalassitis was held on the edge of the box and Green's central free-kick flew low through the wall but Pentney stuck out a leg to save.
Chelmsford had a loud penalty shout dismissed when they felt a Fleet player had handled in the box. Edwards then gathered a Henry half-volley at the second attempt.
However, the visitors did take the lead with 17 minutes remaining.
Basagan Graham did superbly to beat two men in a tight space and he spread a magnificent crossfield ball into the path of Derry. His cross picked out the unmarked Edmans, who directed his header inside the near post.
Ebbsfleet came within inches of instantly restoring parity. McMahon's free-kick from wide on the right smacked against the inside of the far post and rebounded to safety. Pentney was totally beaten and no attacking player could respond quickly enough to score.
Straight up the other end went the Clarets, Derry outpacing Howe and forcing a smart save from Edwards.
And it was 2-0, seven minutes from the end, when Chelmsford hit the Fleet with a lightning quick breakaway. Derry led it, racing 50 yards, laying the ball right to Graham and stabbing the return pass into the net from close-range.
Thalassitis and Billy Bricknell had shots blocked in the closing stages but the hosts couldn't get one goal back, let alone the two they needed.
The Fleet entertain Boreham Wood on Saturday.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards; Howe, Lorraine, Huke, Palmer; Green (Osborn 71mins), McMahon, Rance, Cook; Thalassitis, Bricknell. Subs not used: Sankofa, Hall, Stacy Long, Phipp.
Chelmsford: Pentney; Sampayo, Maduako, Webb, Redwood; Henry, Davis (Rainford 81mins), Hughes, Graham; Edmans (Brayley 89mins), Derry. Subs not used: Sam Long, Nicolau, St Aimee.
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