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Ebbsfleet United 2 Wealdstone 0 match report: Ouss Cisse and Dominic Poleon score in National League win as Fleet keep first clean sheet in 26 games

Ebbsfleet started 2024 with a much-needed three points after beating Wealdstone at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.

Although Dennis Kutrieb’s men remain the drop zone, it was a first clean sheet in 26 games and only a third win in 21 National League matches.

Ouss Cisse - put the Fleet ahead in the first half on Saturday. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ouss Cisse - put the Fleet ahead in the first half on Saturday. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

Ebbsfleet made four changes from the team that lost 5-1 at promotion-chasing Bromley last Saturday.

Most notably, there was a return to action for Chris Solly in defence, his first outing since mid-November while Ouss Cisse, Joe Martin and Toby Edser all came into the line-up.

Ebbsfleet were happy for Wealdstone to dominate possession, keeping a compact defensive unit to limit space for the visitors to utilise.

It wasn’t particuarly endearing to the home fans but you couldn’t argue that it worked in the first half as the Fleet went in ahead.

Charlie Barker forced a low save from Ebbsfleet keeper Mark Cousins before Max Kretzschmar headed over at the near post from a left-wing corner.

Sean Adarkwa got the better of Martin after 17 minutes but his low effort lacked power and was saved by Cousins.

It took Ebbsfleet 21 minutes to register their first attempt at goal. Josh Wright played in Hayden White, whose pull back was met by Dominic Poleon. His shot was blocked, along with Darren McQueen’s follow-up.

The breakthrough arrived on 34 minutes. Edser’s free-kick fell perfecly for Cisse, who directed his header perfectly into the bottom corner beyond keeper Marcus Dewhurst.

The hosts nearly added a second but Dominic Samuel headed over a Myles Kenlock cross and Edser’s 25-yard free-kick was comfortably saved in first-half stoppage-time.

The same pattern continued after the break. Ebbsfleet were content to soak up pressure as Wealdstone moved the ball from side to side.

But the chances were drying up for the visitors, even if conditions were anything but for the fans as driving rain came across Stonebridge Road.

Poleon was played clear by Edser but keeper Dewhurst did well to get his hand to the ball as the striker tried to go round him.

Ebbsfleet added a second on 65 minutes. Excellent work by Samuel saw him advance into the penalty area along the byline. With a lack of support, the striker kept going and Charlie Barker’s needless trip was enough for referee Stephen Parkinson to correctly point to the spot. Poleon stepped up and converted his 13th goal of the season from the spot.

Poleon was replaced by Rakish Bingham with 19 minutes left, having put in an excellent shift down the left for his side.

Substitute Nathan Ferguson forced a fine save from Cousins, who also tipped over a long-range effort from Sam Bowen.

Ebbsfleet: Cousins, White, Solly, Martin, McQueen (O’Neill 82mins), Wright (Chapman 77mins), Cisse, Edser, Kenlock, Samuel, Poleon (Bingham 71mins). Subs not used: Tanner, Clifford.

Wealdstone: Dewhurst, Cook, Barker, Charles, Kretzschmar (Andrews 76mins), Obiero (Ferguson 66mins), Ilunga (Campbell 63mins), Bowen, Mundle-Smith, Henry, Adarkwa. Subs not used: Barrett, Mason.

Referee: Stephen Parkinson.

Attendance: 1,511.

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