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Ebbsfleet United 1 Hendon 0 match report

Ebbsfleet United started life after Steve Brown by knocking Hendon out of the FA Trophy.

Following Brown's sacking on Wednesday, Daryl McMahon took charge of the Fleet on a caretaker basis for the third qualifying round tie at the PHB Stadium.

And a second-half goal from Anthony Cook sent Ebbsfleet through to the first round of the competition they won in 2008. It wasn't pretty but they did just enough to see off their spirited Ryman League Premier Division opponents.

McMahon chose not to play himself, keeping his suit on and handing the captain's armband to Dean Rance.

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton
Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton

There were four personnel changes from Brown's final game in charge. Anthony Acheampong returned in defence, with Matt Johnson replacing the injured Brendan Kiernan in midfield and Michael Corcoran starting in place of McMahon.

Charlie Sheringham was dropped for the first time since August so Billy Bricknell started up front.

Former Fleet striker Kezie Ibe played for Hendon, whose starting line-up bore only one alteration from their last game - a 3-1 win at Bury Town. Kevin McLaren returned to captain the side, with top scorer Leon Smith left on the bench.

The home side lined up with Corcoran at the base of their midfield, just behind Rance and Johnson, with Godden and Cook flanking lone striker Bricknell.

Ebbsfleet showed plenty of early promise and Cook fired a free-kick into the side-netting.

At the other end, a dangerous Hendon break saw Dave Diedhiou play in Andre Da Costa down the left-hand side. Da Costa got away from Chris Sessegnon but he failed to hit the target, shooting wide of the near post.

Johnson's dinked ball over the top of the Greens defence found Bricknell onside and when his shot was charged down by Ibe, the home players and supporters yelled for handball. Referee Carl Brook was having none of it though.

Cook burst forward for the Fleet moments later and forced a good low save from Hendon keeper Ben McNamara.

The crowd came to life when Diedhiou's theatrics after a strong challenge by Johnson earned the Fleet man a yellow card. Joe Howe also went into the book for catching Chris Seeby late, while Hendon's Oliver Sprague somehow escaped punishment after dumping Corcoran on his backside in front of the Liam Daish Stand.

Anthony Cook tries his luck against Hendon in the FA Trophy Picture: Andy Payton
Anthony Cook tries his luck against Hendon in the FA Trophy Picture: Andy Payton

Good chances were scarce as half-time approached, although Kenny Clark did get up well to head Cook's right-wing corner just wide of the far post.

Cook opened the scoring six minutes into the second half. Howe burst down the left and although his low cross was initially blocked, the ball fell for Cook, 12 yards out, and his shot deflected beyond the left hand of McNamara.

It could, and should, have been 2-0 moments later.

Rance turned away from Lee O'Leary in midfield and played a slide-rule pass into the feet of Godden, whose low ball across the face of goal was just too strong for the onrushing Bricknell.

The home side lost Sessegnon to a shoulder injury just after the hour mark.

Fleet went close twice in as many minutes. Godden headed over from Cook's corner and McNamara then spilled a Cook shot in the six-yard box, although the keeper recovered well to save when Godden pounced on the rebound.

Clark flashed at a loose ball in the Hendon box but his snapshot flew wide.

Ebbsfleet were bossing the game now but all the time it was only 1-0, danger still lurked. Shane Huke, on for Sessegnon, gave the ball away in midfield and when Hendon broke in numbers, the home side needed goalkeeper Brandon Hall to come out and gather.

Hendon substitute Belal Aite-Ouakrim had a goalbound shot blocked in the fifth minute of stoppage-time but Ebbsfleet held on to book their place in Monday's first round draw.

Ebbsfleet: Hall, Sessegnon (Huke 61mins), Acheampong, Clark, Howe, Corcoran, Rance, Johnson, Godden, Cook, Bricknell. Subs not used: Hughes, Palmer, C Johnson, Sheringham.

Hendon: McNamara, Seeby, Sprague, Fisher, Braithwaite, McLaren (Taggart 83mins), Murphy, O'Leary, Da Costa (Smith 73mins), Ibe, Diedhiou (Aite-Ouakrim 73mins). Subs not used: Dean, Morgan.

Attendance: 676.

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