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Bromley 1 Ebbsfleet United 2 match report

By Steve Tervet
Matt Godden has just scored a stunning winner for Ebbsfleet at Bromley Picture: Andy Payton
Matt Godden has just scored a stunning winner for Ebbsfleet at Bromley Picture: Andy Payton

A wonder goal from Matt Godden fired Ebbsfleet to victory at Bromley on Saturday.

Adam Cunnington fired Fleet into an early lead but Jamie Slabber headed the Vanarama Conference South leaders level before half-time.

However, Godden's 35-yard contender for goal of the season earned Jamie Day's side a win which might yet ignite their play-off hopes.

Bromley came into the Kent derby having won six of their last seven, most recently 2-1 at Sutton. The only two changes to the starting XI from that game saw Paul Rodgers and Slabber come in for Ali Fuseini and Louis Dennis, while club captain Rob Swaine was again absent through suspension.

There was a change in goal for the visitors, where Brandon Hall - recalled from his loan spell at Lewes during the week - was selected ahead of Preston Edwards. Injury ruled out Danny Kedwell and Theo Lewis was dropped to the bench, so Dean Rance and Matt Johnson were both given a start in central midfield.

Lone striker Cunnington was most closely supported by Stuart Lewis, with Godden and Sean Shields occupying the right and left wings respectively.

Ebbsfleet survived an early goalmouth scamble - and promptly went up the other end and scored.

Goalkeeper Alan Julian charged out to the corner flag to mop up a long ball but Shields beat him to it and kept the play alive. The ball reached Cunnington just outside the area and although Julian was now back in position, he was powerless to stop Cunnington's terrific curling strike which flew inside his left-hand post.

Adam Cunnington celebrates giving Ebbsfleet a fifth-minute lead Picture: Andy Payton
Adam Cunnington celebrates giving Ebbsfleet a fifth-minute lead Picture: Andy Payton

Shields almost made it 2-0 moments later with a low shot which cannoned back off the post. Julian and his defence were at sixes and sevens and the goalkeeper only just grabbed a Lewis cross to the far post.

Godden's low ball in from the right flank reached Rance and his looping shot was gathered by Julian before Bromley finally started to gain a foothold.

Moses Ademola made good ground in midfield but dragged his shot well wide from 25 yards.

Bromley skipper Danny Waldren then headed a ball into the danger zone which Hall did well to punch clear, before Shields shot wide for the visitors.

Day's side were looking comfortable enough but their lead was wiped out 10 minutes before half-time. Ademola's corner from the left was only partially cleared and when Joe Anderson helped the ball back into the box, Slabber rose to connect with a header which drifted across Hall into the far corner.

Fleet did try to respond to that blow before the interval. Kelvin Langmead nodded a Johnson free-kick straight at Julian and Shields sent another shot past the post but the whistle blew with the sides level at 1-1.

Sean Shields tangles with Ugo Udoji Picture: Andy Payton
Sean Shields tangles with Ugo Udoji Picture: Andy Payton

The second half started at a pedestrian pace, with Hall making a routine save when Bradley Goldberg tried his luck with a low shot from just outside the box.

But what had turned into a turgid game was about to burst back into life. Godden had just been denied by a brilliant Ugo Udoji goal line block when he let rip from 35 yards in the inside-right position. Julian was a mere spectator as Godden's shot flew over his head and nestled in the far corner. The home crowd were stunned, the travelling contingent - and Godden - jumped for joy.

Bromley twice came close to levelling thinhs up in the moments after Godden's goal.

Hall pushed Ademola's strike back into the six-yard box but recovered brilliantly to save Goldberg's point-blank follow-up effort.

The goalkeeper, though, was powerless to act when Waldren's curling effort flew past him - and he was relieved to see the ball hit the crossbar and bounce behind.

Fleet almost went further in front, however, when Lewis ran onto Godden's through-ball and forced a good low save from Julian.

The home fans were streaming for the exits long before the end and when Ademola shot wide in the seventh minute of stoppage-time, you knew it wasn't going to be Bromley's day.

Bromley: Julian, Udoji (Carter 90mins), Anderson, Prestedge (Birchall 66mins), McNaughton, Holland, Ademola, Waldren, Slabber, Goldberg, Rodgers (Fuseini 66mins). Subs not used: Brown, Dennis.

Ebbsfleet: Hall, Fish, Langmead, Bonner, Jefford, Rance, Johnson, S Lewis (T Lewis 85mins), Shields (Osborn 78mins), Godden, Cunnington. Subs not used: Acheampong, Edwards, Gower.

Attendance: 1,988.

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