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Ebbsfleet United 2 Torquay United 4 - reaction from Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill

ByMatthew Panting

Ebbsfleet boss Garry Hill admitted his team’s poor defending cost them again on Tuesday night.

The Fleet went down 4-2 to Torquay in the National League, again conceding goals at the start of both halves.

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Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill was again unimpressed by his side's defending on Tuesday Picture: Andy Jones
Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill was again unimpressed by his side's defending on Tuesday Picture: Andy Jones

“At the end of the day, any level of football, if you don’t defend properly you are going to get punished,” said Hill.

“We always ask for consistency, at all levels, and I’m afraid the consistency in performances is giving cheap goals away at the start of each half of matches.

“To find ourselves 2-0 down was very disappointing. You have to stay in games early on, it’s very important.

"You can’t knock the effort, you can’t knock the character shown, probably the last 20 minutes of the first half we played some very good football.

“We stretched them, we worked them hard. We got probably the best goal of the game to get us back at 2-1.

"I think everyone walked in at half-time, more so (Torquay boss) Gary Johnson than anybody, knowing we were well on top and they were going to be in for a hard second half.

“You can’t as a manager, you can’t as a coach turn round and take responsibility from when you’ve talked in the changing room for 10 minutes and instructed and requested responsibilities to be taken, seeing and making sure you are in the game for the first 15 minutes of the second half.

“One minute (and they scored). All of a sudden before we clear our heads, another one.

“Clear our heads in the last 20 minutes we get another goal back, not one possibly two penalties (were turned down). Josh Umerah should have gone down but was too honest, Gozie Ugwu could have gone down but didn’t. They had six shots and scored four.”

Hill knows it is a familiar pattern to concede goals early in halves at home.

Of the 19 goals they have conceded at Stonebridge Road in the league, 10 of them have come in the first 11 minutes of either the first half or second half.

“Irrespective of what formation you play, you have to defend properly,” added Hill.

“We haven’t defended properly. We’ve got the two best goals and for long periods played some very good football going forward.

“If I knew what the problem was, I’d be worth a lot of money.

“They are a good side going forward but they are not world beaters. They took their chances well but as a group they defended better than us. If you don’t defend well, you are in trouble.”

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