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Chelmsford City 1 Ebbsfleet United 5 - Vanarama South match report

By Alex Hoad

Billy Bricknell struck twice as Ebbsfleet United cruised to a 5-1 win at Chelmsford City in Vanarama South on Friday afternoon.

Fleet made it 17 points from a possible 21 on the road since early September with a comprehensive win in an entertaining game at the Melbourne Stadium.

Billy Bricknell had already seen a strike ruled out for offside when the hosts hit the bar from a Joe Ward corner on seven minutes.

At the other end Anthony Cook saw an acrobatic early effort saved by Watkins and it was his corner which led to the opener after 10 minutes as Kenny Clark rose highest to head the opener against his former club.

Bradley Watkins produced a fine save to deny Bricknell after a flick-on from Cook, with Kenny Clark seeing his effort from the resultant corner cleared off the line by Rohdell Gordon.

Fleet keeper Brandon Hall denied Joe Ward when clean through at the other end before Bricknell smashed the second from the spot nine minutes before half-time, sending Watkins the wrong way after a shove in the box.

In an end-to-end affair Jaanai Gordon pulled one back on his debut for City on loan from West Ham five minutes before the break, converting a cross from the flank, while the visitors saw a third ruled out when a fine Daryl McMahon shot came back off the post, with Matt Godden turning the rebound in, only for the flag to go up.

Billy Bricknell. Picture: Andy Payton
Billy Bricknell. Picture: Andy Payton

McMahon sent a free-kick straight at Watkins after the break but it merely served as a range-finder as the Fleet man made no mistake with another set-piece strike into the top-corner from 25 yards to make it 3-1 on 55 minutes.

Michael Cheek spurned a glorious chance to get City back into the game from six yards soon after while Clark headed another chance straight at Watkins at the other end on a day when he could have scored a hat-trick.

The fourth eventually arrived 19 minutes from time when Watkins rushed off his line to try and claim a long kick forward from Hall, only to spill the ball to sub Sean Shields who lobbed the ball back over the stranded keeper.

It was 5-1 with 11 minutes still to play as Brendan Kiernon won possession and waltzed into the area before crossing for Bricknell to turn in his second while Clark went close to a sixth from range late-on.

Fleet climbed to fourth thanks to defeat for Gosport Borough but the top-three all won meaning Ebbsfleet are 10 points adrift of leaders Boreham Wood and seven behind second-placed Bromley, 4-1 winners at Concord Rangers thanks to two goals from Louis Dennis and one each for Jamie Slabber and Danny Waldren.

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