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Ebbsfleet United 0 Boreham Wood 3 match report

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet were comprehensively beaten at home by Boreham Wood on Saturday.

A goal down at half-time, they were second-best in all departments after the break.

Fleet have now gone three games without a goal and on this showing the National League play-offs look like a pipe dream.

There's no way through for Ebbsfleet captain Dave Winfield Picture: Andy Payton
There's no way through for Ebbsfleet captain Dave Winfield Picture: Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet were unchanged from their draw at Aldershot and there were a couple of familiar faces in the Boreham Wood squad. Mark Ricketts captained the visitors from central midfield while Ricky Shakes was on the bench.

The first half was ruined by a fussy referee who stopped play far too often.

Boreham Wood were, however, the better side in the opening 45 minutes with big players at both ends of the pitch who won a lot of the aerial battles.

For the home side, Sam Magri swirled an early shot wide and later had his name taken after a clash of heads with Ricketts which left Magri needing his head bandaged. It was just one in a series of baffling decisions made by Paul Marsden as both managers were left scratching their heads and repeatedly questioning the fourth official.

Nathan Ashmore, making his 100th appearance in the Fleet goal, almost got Luke Coulson in behind the Wood defence with a monster kick but Jamie Turley got back just in time to mop up.

At the other end, Ashmore did well to keep Keiran Murtagh's shot out of the bottom corner although he would have been relieved to see Joe Quigley poke the rebound wide.

Sean Shields came off the bench at half-time Picture: Andy Payton
Sean Shields came off the bench at half-time Picture: Andy Payton

Marvin McCoy got forward well from right-back and slipped Danny Kedwell in but the striker was forced wide and his attempted cross rolled behind for a goal kick.

Boreham Wood started to get control and Bruno Andrade forced another save from Ashmore before Kane Smith, afforded too much space on the right wing, delivered a terrific cross which Danny Woodards headed wide.

But with 34 minutes on the clock, Ebbsfleet failed to clear a cross from the right and Angelo Balanta sent a fine shot flashing past Ashmore from the edge of the box.

The home fans were quiet, with Fleet lacking quality going forward, and Daryl McMahon responded by making a double substitution at half-time. Bradley Bubb came on to partner Kedwell up front while Sean Shields was sent on to play down the right flank.

But within two minutes of the restart, Boreham Wood had doubled their lead. Andrade drove a right-wing corner to Turley, who was left unmarked near the penalty spot and drove the ball through a crowd of players into the net.

The home side looked a mess defensively and almost conceded again as Wood went for the kill. Fleet survived a couple of scrambles before Murtagh stormed into the box and drilled a low shot just wide.

Andy Drury finds his path blocked by Jamie Turley Picture: Andy Payton
Andy Drury finds his path blocked by Jamie Turley Picture: Andy Payton

Jack Payne went close with a half-volley at the end but Fleet, looking terribly disjointed, were almost picked off by Balanta on the counter-attack. His curling shot was creeping inside the far post and Ashmore had to pull off another save.

The keeper was in action again moments later, getting a strong hand to Murtagh's cracking strike from distance but it came as no surprise when Boreham Wood did score a third on 66 minutes.

Fleet's defending was appalling, with Quigley able to stroll past two defenders and beat Ashmore with a tame shot.

After that Boreham Wood were comfortable and Fleet, as in their previous home games against Warrington and Chester, ran out of ideas and composure.

Payne and Andy Drury both went close in a scramble after Myles Weston's cross came back off the woodwork but it should have been 4-0 at the death after Bush bundled Andrade over in the box.

Andrade smashed his penalty against the crossbar but there were boos at full-time from the angry home supporters.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, McCoy (Shields 46mins), Winfield, Bush, Magri, Wilson, Drury, Payne, Powell (Bubb 46mins), Coulson (Weston 54mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: Rance, Jordan.

Boreham Wood: G Smith, Champion, Stephens, Turley, K Smith, Ricketts, Murtagh, Woodards, Balanta, Quigley (Folivi 83mins), Andrade. Subs not used: Harfield, Shakes, Turgott, Davey.

Attendance: 1,366.

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