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Boxing Day derby between Dartford and Ebbsfleet United in National League South postponed due to Covid

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The Boxing Day derby between Dartford and Ebbsfleet has been postponed for the second successive season.

A number of Covid cases in the Ebbsfleet camp has seen the Fleet pull out of the game on December 26 at Princes Park which would have seen the National League South leaders visit the team third in the table.

Goalmouth action between Dartford and Ebbsfleet last season. Picture: Dave Budden
Goalmouth action between Dartford and Ebbsfleet last season. Picture: Dave Budden

Last season's fixture on Boxing Day, which was due to be held at Stonebridge Road, was also postponed due to Covid, among the Dartford camp on that occasion.

A statement issued by Ebbsfleet on Thursday afternoon said: "Despite every effort, the Fleet’s Boxing Day derby at Princes Park against Dartford has unfortunately been postponed due to Covid cases and mandatory isolation periods. The decision was taken following consultation with and guidance from, the league and current medical advice.

"Unfortunately the proliferation of Covid cases in the region and nation generally which has seen a large number of postponements at all levels of the sport, has proven too difficult to overcome in time to fulfil this fixture and, regrettably, in order to minimise disruption and provide sufficient notice to everyone, it has been decided to announce the postponement as soon as possible.

"A rescheduled date for the fixture will be announced as soon as possible once agreed between the two clubs and the National League.

"At this point in time due to isolation periods expiring, no other future fixtures are affected."

Ebbsfleet played their National League game with Bath last weekend, winning 3-0 at Stonebridge Road, despite only being able to name two outfield players among their substitutes due to illness and injury.

The Fleet are due to host Billericay on December 28 while Dartford are away to Braintree.

The Boxing Day programme has also seen Welling's clash at home to Dulwich postponed due to Covid among the Dulwich camp, while Gillingham's League 1 game against Ipswich on December 26 was called off on Wednesday.

That means the only local games now on are Dover at home to Dagenham in the National League and the lunchtime kick-off between Tonbridge and Maidstone at Longmead.

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