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Bromley 0 Ebbsfleet United 0

Dean Pooley gets to grips with Anthony Cook (Pic: Paul Jarvis)
Dean Pooley gets to grips with Anthony Cook (Pic: Paul Jarvis)

Ebbsfleet held Skrill South leaders Bromley to a goalless draw at Hayes Lane on Boxing Day.

The result meant Bromley dropped points at home for the first time this season, while it also ended the Fleet's nine-match winning streak.

Both sides enjoyed periods of dominance but it was a game of few clear-cut chances and Bromley, who remain 13 points clear of their Kent rivals in the title race, would have been the happier at full-time.

Daryl McMahon, who missed Ebbsfleet's 2-0 win over Sutton on Saturday through illness, returned in central midfield, meaning Michael Corcoran dropped to the bench.

A hip flexor injury ruled out in-form striker Michael Thalassitis, so Ben May partnered Billy Bricknell in attack.

There was little between the in-form rivals in a tight first half.

Brendan Kiernan's low shot had Fleet keeper Preston Edwards scrambling before Danny Waldren drilled a free-kick over the bar.

With the giant figure of Rob Swaine marshalling the Bromley defence, there was little joy in the air for May. Thalassitis' absence appeared to be telling.

Aiden Palmer takes on the Bromley defence (Pic: Paul Jarvis)
Aiden Palmer takes on the Bromley defence (Pic: Paul Jarvis)

But gradually the Fleet began to gain a foothold. McMahon and Anthony Cook, shackled thus far, grew into the game and inevitably made things happen.

Cook cut in from the left and forced former Fleet keeper Joe Welch to push his low shot round the post, before McMahon tried his luck from the edge of the box - only to see the ball whizz over.

And the visitors ended the first half on top, with May hooking a shot past the post after build-up play involving Chris Sessegnon, McMahon and Alex Osborn

McMahon then spread the ball wide to Cook, who led a quick break before shooting wide.

The hosts started the second half with real intent. Ashley Nicholls unloaded with a curling effort which left Edwards standing but flew just wide.

Bromley continued to pin the Fleet back and Waldren, set up by Kiernan, shot over.

Ebbsfleet substitute Tom Phipp makes a late burst (Pic: Paul Jarvis)
Ebbsfleet substitute Tom Phipp makes a late burst (Pic: Paul Jarvis)

Sessegnon had a retaliatory effort for Ebbsfleet, but his long-range drive flew well wide.

The home side were well on top and leading scorer Bradley Goldberg almost gave them the lead, only for Edwards to pull off a superb reaction save. Ebbsfleet failed to clear their lines, though, and the ball ping-ponged around their box in a heart-stopping scramble before the danger finally passed.

At the other end, a high ball into the Bromley box was nodded down by May and Bricknell's goalbound shot deflected behind for a corner.

Bricknell then turned provider and laid the ball back for Osborn, but his radar was askew and the ball sailed behind.

The visitors went close when substitute Michael Corcoran had a shot deflected behind, with Cook's corner headed over by the unmarked Osei Sankofa.

Moments later, Edwards rescued Ebbsfleet again when he stretched to claw out a fine strike by Bromley substitute Ben Swallow.

The finale was frantic but it didn't produce a winner.

Bromley: Welch, Pooley, Anderson, Waldren, Swaine, Holland, Kiernan, Nicholls, Reid (McDonnell 79mins), Goldberg, Hall (Swallow 74mins). Subs not used: Parmenter, Jarrett, Buchanan.

Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Sessegnon, Lorraine, Sankofa, Palmer, Osborn, McMahon (Corcoran 70mins), Rance, Cook, May, Bricknell (Phipp 89mins). Subs not used: Howe, Hall, Long.

Attendance: 1,344.

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