Published: 16:58, 09 November 2019
| Updated: 18:59, 09 November 2019
Ebbsfleet lost a dramatic FA Cup first round tie against Notts County on Saturday.
The Fleet led early on thanks to a wondergoal and then equalised with just a minute left - only to be knocked out by an injury-time winner.
Ebbsfleet made four changes from the side held by Chesterfield in the league last weekend.
Keeper Jordan Holmes (concussion) and skipper Jack King (suspension) returned while Alex Lawless replaced Albie Morgan, who was not given permission to play by Charlton. Alfie Egan came in for Frankie Sutherland in midfield.
The Fleet got off to an explosive start with a stunning goal from Josh Payne after just seven minutes.
Skipper Jack King chested the ball down and Payne only had one thing in mind when he let fly from nearly 40 yards, sending an unstoppable right-foot shot beyond keeper Sam Slocombe.
Fleet had a golden chance to double the lead five minutes later as Lawless’ pass found Alex Reid, but his heavy touch meant the chance was gone.
County’s first shot on target saw Wes Thomas’ overhead kick lack power after a poor defensive header by Tyler Cordner.
Reid then nearly fashioned an opening himself, collecting Egan’s pass and driving into the box, his early cross failing to pick out a team-mate.
County levelled on 34 minutes with Fleet’s players protesting that the ball had not gone over the line. There also appeared to be a foul in the box as Kyle Wooton’s marker was blocked off, that gave him enough space and time to convert Regan Booty’s corner, the assistant referee indicating the ball had crossed the line.
Notts County were the better side after the restart, Thomas’ finishing lacking him down when he beat the offside trap in the 49th minute.
If there were question marks over their first goal, there was no doubt about the second on 58 minutes. Thomas turned Cordner just inside the Fleet half and then fed Wooton, whose excellent finish nestled in the far corner of the net.
It could have been game over four minutes later but, presented with a similar chance, Enzo Boudewijn sent his right-foot shot whistling just past the far post.
Fleet introduced Josh Umerah and Sutherland as they went three up front in a bid to find an equaliser.
Ugwu was denied by Slocombe after Reid’s penalty appeal was turned down, Cordner nodded a dangerous free-kick inches wide and then only the woodwork denied Ugwu as Fleet piled on the pressure.
The Fleet looked to have forced a replay in the 89th minute when handball by Richard Brindley saw a penalty awarded and Ugwu was the calmest man in Stonebridge Road as he tucked away the spot-kick.
But County won the game in the third minute of stoppage time when Ben Turner - who also scored in the 2-2 league draw between these sides - headed in at the far post after a near-post corner was flicked on.
Ebbsfleet: Holmes, Ekpiteta, King, Cordner, Weston, Blackman, Lawless (Umerah 63mins), Egan (Sutherland 67mins), Payne, Reid (Adeloye 81mins), Ugwu. Subs not used: Palmer, Obileye, Wilson, Grimes.
Notts County: Slocombe, McCrory, Rose, Turner, Thomas (Tyson 86mins), Doyle, Boudewijn, Rawlinson, Wooton, Booty (Bakayogo 90mins), Brindley. Subs not used: Kean, Dennis, Kelly-Evans, Bakayogo, Osbourne.
More by this authorMatthew Panting