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Ebbsfleet United host Dover Athletic in crucial Kent derby on Easter Monday

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet will take their play-off push to the final day of the season if they beat Dover on Easter Monday.

Garry Hill’s side are three points behind seventh-placed Eastleigh with a far superior goal-difference.

They gained a point on the Spitfires by coming from 3-0 down to draw with Havant on Good Friday.

Ebbsfleet need a win against Dover on Easter Monday Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet need a win against Dover on Easter Monday Picture: Chris Davey

But anything less than victory in the Kent derby at Stonebridge Road could see them eliminated from the National League promotion race.

Fleet boss Garry Hill said: “There’s two games to go, we’re three points behind Eastleigh and we’ve got a better goal difference so that can all change.

“Harrogate (in fifth) are at home against Gateshead on Monday and that won’t be easy and they go to Wrexham (in their) last game.

“We’ve got a massive game against Dover. It puts more pressure on in one way but we have to go in there Monday and we have to believe.

“Dover have done absolutely superb under Andy Hessenthaler in the second half of the season so all credit to everybody at Dover.

“It’s going to be a tough game, we know that, but they’re all tough at this time of year.”

Eastleigh host Maidenhead on Monday and Fleet, who finish the season away to Bromley on Saturday, are bound to keep track of the scores elsewhere.

Hill said: “They’re tough games, Dover and Bromley, but we’ve given ourselves a chance.

“Let’s be fair, if we’d got nothing at Havant, we’d have realistically turned round and said ‘that is it.’

“But now, with Eastleigh getting beat (at Dagenham), which didn’t surprise me, Harrogate didn’t surprise me (losing at Leyton Orient)... I’d like to have got that extra one (and beaten Havant).

“Alan Devonshire is always fetching surprises out of his Maidenhead team so don’t underestimate them.

“We’ve got to do our own jobs first and ask for help somewhere else. We’ve got to get as many points as we can, hopefully six out of the last two games, and see where it takes us.”

Defender Jack King and striker Gozie Ugwu could both return for Ebbsfleet on Monday after missing the Havant game because of injury.

But Hill said: “We have to find out where everyone is on Monday. We've got some tired legs but we have to go again.

"We got a point nearer on Friday and we have to take a positive out of it.

"Three points behind Eastleigh, with a better goal difference, is a lot different to being four points behind with only two to play.

"Pressure is a wonderful thing, they say, and they've got more pressure on them than we've got on us now.

"I'm hoping we can do our job - and we're asking for help as well!

"If we could take it to the last game of the season, that would be tremendous from where we've come from."

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