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Ebbsfleet United 0 Maidstone United 0 match report

Ebbsfleet and Maidstone played out an entertaining derby draw at Stonebridge Road.

The Kent rivals couldn’t find a goal but it was a decent game between the top-six rivals in National South, played at a good tempo.

Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb Picture: Keith Gillard
Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb Picture: Keith Gillard

Maidstone edged it on chances but Fleet had a big second-half penalty shout turned down.

Either way, it doesn’t look like there will be much between these sides this season.

Fleet sprang a surprise by leaving out central defender Jake Goodman, scorer of both goals in Saturday’s win at Chippenham.

Keeper Tom Hadler was another to make way and his replacement, Jordan Holmes, was the busier of the two keepers in a goalless first half.

He made several saves - albeit comfortable - as United finished the opening 45 minutes strongly.

Ebbsfleet’s high-risk passing football was good to watch at times but it was mainly in their own third defensive third, with Maidstone pressing high in a bid to put them out of their stride.

As a result they rarely got their football going in areas to hurt Maidstone in the first half, although they did carve out a big chance just past the quarter-hour when Lee Martin beat George Elokobi down the right and crossed for Rakish Bingham but Ravan Constable saved with his legs and the follow-up drifted wide.

That was Fleet’s big moment of a high-tempo half while Maidstone could perhaps count themselves unlucky not to be in front on the balance of play.

Joe Ellul found himself free at the back post from Charlie Seaman’s free-kick early on and George Porter went through one-on-one before that Bingham chance.

Porter’s 20-yard snapshot was beaten away by Holmes as Maidstone came on strong before the break.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard

Justin Amaluzor’s short corner to Sam Corne caught Fleet napping with Ellul meeting the cross but Holmes was there again.

Seaman then tested the keeper from 20 yards before a well-worked free-kick saw Seaman go short to Amaluzor whose ball in was flicked on by Porter to Kreshnic Krasniqi but the Kosovan midfielder couldn’t get enough on his header to beat Holmes.

Fleet put together a lovely move up the right early in the second half which ended with Constable making a decent low save when Martin met Iffy Allen’s cross.

Seaman hit Holmes’ legs midway through the second half - the angle against the Maidstone man from Amaluzor’s cross - with Bingham firing at Constable moments later for the Fleet.

The hosts were fuming after being denied a penalty for Noah Chesmain’s challenge on substitute Adam Mekki, the referee deciding he had got something on the ball.

Amaluzor fired wide approaching the last 10 minutes, then substitute Joan Luque sent a free-kick past the post.

Ebbsfleet: Holmes, Adebayo-Rowling, Taylor, Kahraman, Rowan, Wood, Paxman, Egan (Chapman 86mins), Allen (Mekki 68mins), Martin, Bingham (Goodman 90+1mins). Subs not used: Frempah, Hadler.

Maidstone: Constable, Hoyte, Ellul, Elokobi, Chesmain, Corne, Krasniqi, Amaluzor, Porter, Seaman (Luque 78mins), Rendell (Olutade 78mins). Subs not used: Lewington, Odusanya, Temelci.

Referee: Isaac Searle.

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