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Farnborough 2 Ebbsfleet United 2 match report: Franklin Domi and Haydn Hollis score for National League South leaders

Champions-elect Ebbsfleet extended their lead at the top of National League South to 14 points on Tuesday night.

The Fleet turned the game around in the second half to end February on a 12-match unbeaten run – which included 10 wins – and surely at least one hand on the title. But they were denied all three points by a stoppage-time equaliser from Farnborough, who certainly proved more than a match on the evening.

Ebbsfleet midfielder Billy Clifford on the ball at Farnborough. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ebbsfleet midfielder Billy Clifford on the ball at Farnborough. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

Ebbsfleet made four changes from the side that won at Chelmsford on Saturday. In come Darren McQueen, Billy Clifford, Franklin Domi and match-winner Greg Cundle.

The visitors started brightly enough, Rakish Bingham seeing his shot blocked after Dominic Poleon pounced on a wayward header.

The best Ebbsfleet chance came on 19 minutes. Christian N’Guessan clipped the ball into Poleon, who set up McQueen but he fired high and wide under pressure from Jordan Norville-Williams.

But, thereafter, it was largely Farnborough in the dominance as the Fleet kept giving the ball away cheaply.

Norville-Williams’ downward header bounced up and over the crossbar before John Oyenuga’s header at the far post was comfortably saved by keeper Mark Cousins.

Farnborough’s biggest threat was the long throw of captain Ollie Robinson, and it proved pivotal in the opening goal on 28 minutes.

Robinson launched the ball deep into the penalty area and the ball flicked off an Ebbsfleet head before falling perfectly for the unmarked Norville-Williams to tap into an empty net at the far post.

With his tail up, Norville-Williams tried his luck from 30 yards but wastefully dragged his free-kick harmlessly wide.

The Fleet nearly suffered a second setback on the stroke of half-time but Hollis was able to get back to deny Oyenuga a clear sight of goal as he opted against setting up the unmarked Mason Bloomfield.

Rakish Bingham looks to thread a pass through the Farnborough defence on Tuesday night. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Rakish Bingham looks to thread a pass through the Farnborough defence on Tuesday night. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

Farnborough had two good chances early in the second half. Norville-Williams flashed a 20-yard free-kick wide of the upright and Jack Ball headed wide at the far post on 55 minutes.

The Fleet were still guilty of giving the ball away cheaply but they were back in the contest with an equaliser out of nowhere. Domi flicked the ball past his marker and then fired across keeper Jack Turner to find the far corner on 57 minutes.

Ebbsfleet boss Dennis Kutrieb still made a planned double substitution with Toby Edser and Omari Sterling-James introduced.

Sterling-James sent a free-kick straight at Turner before Bingham shot wide at the second attempt as the game swung in Ebbsfleet’s favour.

Farnborough still posed a threat, however, not least from their long throw-in which nearly provided a carbon-copy of their goal. Fleet failed to clear the ball in from Robinson and Norville-Williams arrived on cue but his close-range effort lacked any power to trouble Cousins.

Ebbsfleet went ahead with 20 minutes left. A short corner saw Edser find space inside the area and when his low cross-shot was blocked the ball fell perfectly for Haydn Hollis to prod home from close range.

Cousins had to be alert to push around Page’s long-range effort before his opposite number Turner just did enough as Sterling-James showed a great turn of speed at the other end.

Bingham had a late effort cleared off the line and the Fleet appeared to have got through four additional minutes with the home side going close through Ball from a right-wing corner.

But Farnborough had other ideas and when Cousins produced a fine one-handed save former Dover striker Chike Kandi beat the offside flag and scored from close range.

Farnborough: Turner, Ball, Grant, Fearn (Kandi 85mins), Robinson, Young, Page, Saied, Oyenuga (Holmes 75mins), Bloomfield (Parsons 46mins), Norville-Williams. Subs not used: Silva, Kandi, Lawless.

Ebbsfleet: Cousins, O’Neil, Jombati, Hollis, McQueen (Sterling-James 58mins), N’Guessan, Clifford (Edser 58mins), Domi (Chapman 83mins), Cundle, Bingham, Poleon. Subs not used: Chapman, Finney, Coulthirst.

Referee: Samuel Read.

Attendance: 701.

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