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Ebbsfleet United 2 Dover Athletic 0: Reaction from Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb to FA Cup victory at Stonebridge Road

It was about the result - not the performance - for Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb as his side beat Dover on Saturday to progress in the FA Cup.

The Fleet beat Whites, also of National League South, 2-0 to progress to the Third Qualifying Round with a ninth straight victory this season.

Ebbsfleet United's Josh Wright and Dover Athletic's Lee Martin during the FA Cup tie which was won by the Fleet. Picture: Ed Miller / EUFC
Ebbsfleet United's Josh Wright and Dover Athletic's Lee Martin during the FA Cup tie which was won by the Fleet. Picture: Ed Miller / EUFC

Top scorer Dominic Poleon netted his 10th goal of the campaign in the first half before defender Sido Jombati sealed their victory after the restart in front of a crowd of 1,057.

“We wanted to go through, stay in the hat and go to the next round. It was another good performance,” he said.

“I saw better performances but in the FA Cup it’s a different competition, it’s just about getting the result. There was maybe one or two saves from our goalkeeper [Mark Cousins], I don’t know, that’s it in 90 minutes.

“There was impressive defending again and that’s what we need to do.”

The Fleet made five changes and Kutrieb felt recalled Jombati grew nicely into the game, scoring in the 74th minute.

“You could see, from the defensive point of view, we limited them and I can’t remember, from open play, them coming into our box,” Ebbsfleet's boss said.

“Obviously from set-pieces, they are very, very strong and we needed to be there - and we were there, we defended well. They didn’t have many chances.

“Obviously we can do better in possession, especially in the first half. You could see there were a few question marks where we could have done better in certain areas but there’s no time for us to blame anyone.

“It’s normal, if you play week-in, week-out - like Chris Solly and some others - they know the pitches inside out and other players that might not have had enough minutes, like Sido, first half, you could see minute-to-minute that he was getting better and he got the goal in the end. But in the beginning, it’s normal, if you haven’t played for a few weeks, you just need to find your feet and that takes time.

“I give them the time because I have to make decisions. If I trust the players, they should go and express themselves.

Ebbsfleet United's Ben Chapman closes down Dover Athletic defender Myles Judd. Picture: Ed Miller / EUFC
Ebbsfleet United's Ben Chapman closes down Dover Athletic defender Myles Judd. Picture: Ed Miller / EUFC

“In the first half, we could have done a few things better. There was a massive chance for Darren McQueen and then the second [big chance for Poleon] was in. We got in at half-time with a one-goal lead and that’s all you can ask for at the moment.

“We played against a strong league side, a strong side in our league even if they’re having a bad spell at the moment, but you can see their quality if they have time to do what they want to do.

“So for me, it was very important we didn't concede again, and that’s what we did again. I think it was a very deserved victory.”

Goal-friendly Ebbsfleet now have 27 goals from nine games this season but it was another tough afternoon for striker Rakish Bingham, who missed a great chance to add to his two goals this term in the second half.

Kutrieb, though, had already told Bingham not to worry about his lack of goals last week and remained unconcerned after another goalless match for him.

He said: “At the end of the day, he was not the only one. Dom had another one [chance which he missed] five minutes before.

“Normally, with our quality, nine out of 10 times they will score the goals. But that’s football, it can happen.

“We can’t blame the pitch - that wasn’t as long as last time we played Dover! It was much shorter, we can’t blame the pitch, I’m really happy we could win this game with a shorter pitch.

“I think he did everything right. He wanted to score, made a decision and I think the most important thing, as a striker, is to go with your first thought. So don’t change your mind.

“Whatever your first thought is, go with it. Maybe he starts to think about it at the moment but, as I said to KentOnline a few days ago, I’m not worried about Rakish Bingham.

“He puts one on a plate for Dom, he’s working hard, he’s getting on the ball in the right areas and he’s making more right than wrong decisions on the pitch. He’s an outstanding character.

“He fights all day long, every minute in the game, and he’ll get other chances and he’ll score again. I’m not too concerned.

“If you scored two goals and didn’t score the third one, that’s not a massive problem. It would be a massive problem if it’s 0-0 and you don’t take them, but my gut feeling is, if this is a 0-0 game and he has the chance, he would score.

“That’s just my gut feeling, we never know if that’s the truth or not, but that’s just my gut feeling.

“As long as I have this gut feeling, I’m happy because whenever it was very, very important and we had the chances, he scored them, so I’m very confident he’ll score soon.”

The result saw the Fleet pick up £3,375 in prize money.

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