A packed Stonebridge Road awaits Ebbsfleet today as they bid to win promotion to the National League.
Fleet’s third play-off final in four years sees them up against Chelmsford, with a sell-out crowd of 3,103 ready to witness another afternoon of nerve-shredding drama.
For the second season running Daryl McMahon’s side finished runners-up in National League South, amassing 96 points but unable to catch leaders Maidenhead.
Now it all comes down to one cup tie for the right to play the likes of Leyton Orient and Hartlepool as equals next season.
McMahon said: “It’s huge for me and it’s huge for the club. We’ve had a terrific season and it would be the icing on the cake to win promotion.
“Getting into a final, you’re 90 or 120 minutes away from getting to the next level.
“I know the importance of the game, it’s the play-off final, but it’s 11 versus 11, the same as it was last week and the week before.
“You’ve got to play the game, not the occasion. That’s really important.
“We’ve got players who have been round the block now, whether it’s been at Ebbsfleet or the likes of Andy Drury, Dave Winfield and Marvin McCoy, who have been promotion winners at other clubs.
“We’ve got good experience in there and that’s going to count for a lot on the day.
“When the game is live, I can’t really affect it so you trust those senior players to be able to influence the game.”
McMahon expects Chelmsford to be physical and his main selection dilemma is up front, where fit-again club captain Danny Kedwell comes back into the reckoning.
Six players who started last year’s final have since left the club but regardless of the team he picks, McMahon insists what happened that day has been consigned to history.
"It's huge for me and it's huge for the club... we've had a terrific season and it would be the icing on the cake to win promotion" - Daryl McMahon
He said: “We erased it when we came back in July. You can’t hold onto things that happened in the past because you’ll never move forward.
“If you look at how the season finished and what we’ve done, this is a football team and a football club moving forward. It’s not a club that hangs onto what happened in the past.
“The players are trying to write their own chapter.
“Over the two seasons since I’ve been manager, we’ve evolved into what I wanted it to become.
“Sometimes it takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we’ve been terrific in the back half of this season. Hopefully we can finish well on Saturday.”
The final kicks off at 3pm.