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Ebbsfleet United 0 Truro City 0 match report

By Steve Tervet

There was frustration for National League South leaders Ebbsfleet United on Saturday when they were held to a goalless draw by Truro City.

Fleet dominated in the first half but couldn't find the breakthrough and the visitors had their moments after the break.

Despite late pressure from the home side, Truro held on for a share of the spoils while Ebbsfleet's lead at the top has now been trimmed to six points.

Ebbsfleet's players observe a minute's silence for groundsman Peter Norton Picture: Andy Payton
Ebbsfleet's players observe a minute's silence for groundsman Peter Norton Picture: Andy Payton

Tom Bonner returned to captain the Fleet after serving a three-match ban and top scorer Matt Godden was also back in the team having missed the 0-0 draw at Concord with a tight hamstring.

There was a recall for winger Danny Haynes as Charlie Sheringham dropped back to the bench, with Matt Fish and Dean Pooley not involved at all.

Truro arrived in Kent having lost just one of their previous 14 matches and manager Steve Tully made just one change, Craig Duff replacing Isaac Vassell up front.

Before kick-off, there was a minute's silence for long-serving Fleet groundsman Peter Norton, who died recently at the age of 80.

Danny Kedwell connected with an early Jordan Parkes corner but saw his goalbound shot blocked by a visiting defender. It was a similar story moments later when Haynes crossed low from the right and Kedwell took aim only for a Truro player to get in the way of his shot.

The next chance fell to Parkes, whose controlled half-volley from just outside the box forced a good low save from goalkeeper Martin Rice.

Kedwell then spotted his strike partner unmarked, picking out Godden with a precise pass. Godden took a touch before shooting low across Rice, turning to see his effort drift narrowly wide of the far post.

Danny Kedwell gets a shot in against Truro as Stuart Lewis looks on Picture: Andy Payton
Danny Kedwell gets a shot in against Truro as Stuart Lewis looks on Picture: Andy Payton

Some delightful link-up between Parkes and Anthony Cook created an opening for Godden on the corner of the penalty area although he failed to hit the target with a curling effort.

But the home side, playing without full-backs, were briefly exposed down their right-hand side when Cody Cooke burst into space and delivered a dangerous low cross. The ball fell to Ryan Brett and his shot deflected behind.

But most of the chances were coming at the other end, Godden's volley from a Parkes corner hacked clear and Kedwell snatching a low shot wide from distance.

Cooke turned a shot well wide for Truro when the men in white shirts did break out and Brett was then cautioned for an ugly late tackle on Kenny Clark. Another referee might have sent him off.

After Parkes had tried to find Godden with a whipped free-kick from the Fleet right, the midfielder delivered a deeper ball from near the touchline and Kedwell rose well but was unable to keep his header down.

Cook lashed a powerful shot towards the bottom corner but Rice made another good save and Kedwell, on the stretch, couldn't quite reach Haynes' low cross just before half-time.

Fleet counter-attacked well at the start of the second half and Haynes had a shot blocked after Godden made ground and pulled the ball back into his path.

Dean Rance finds himself outnumbered in midfield Picture: Andy Payton
Dean Rance finds himself outnumbered in midfield Picture: Andy Payton

But sloppiness then begin to creep into the home side's play.

Brandon Hall dropped a Brett cross and although Ebbsfleet survived the scramble which followed, they were on the back foot again when Anthony Acheampong's heavy touch invited Truro forward. They went close from that attack and were only denied by Acheampong's brilliant saving tackle when the men in red gave the ball away again on the corner of their own penalty area.

Truro now looked the more likely scorers and John Paul Kissock was sent on for Stuart Lewis as Fleet boss Daryl McMahon sought to regain control in midfield.

Cook cut in from the left and saw his cross-shot deflect wide of the far post as the home side tried to respond to the encouragement from the terraces. Kedwell's ball then released Godden down the right and his cross reached Haynes, whose header was somehow blocked.

There was another tribute for Peter Norton in the 80th minute when applause broke out all around the ground, just as Ebbsfleet started to turn the screw.

Rice spilled a long-range strike from Rance and Cook then saw his shot deflect just wide of the near post after cutting inside two defenders.

Rance, driving Fleet forward from his deep midfield role, forced another save from Rice, but there was to be no grandstand finish.

Ebbsfleet: Hall, Lewis (Kissock 65mins), Bonner, Haynes, Clark (van den Bogaert 90mins), Acheampong, Rance, Parkes, Kedwell, Godden, Cook. Subs not used: Miles, Sheringham, Osborn.

Truro: Rice, White, Riley-Lowe, Brett (Vassell 65mins), Richards, Pugh, Knowles, Green, Wright (Gill 64mins), Duff (Afful 58mins), Cooke. Subs not used: Dawson, Mitchell.

Attendance: 1,185.

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