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Woking 2 Ebbsfleet United 2 match report

Ebbsfleet fought back from 2-0 down away to National League leaders Woking on Saturday.

Garry Hill's side looked dead and buried with six minutes left but they dug deep to rescue a precious point at Kingfield.

Alex Reid pulled a goal back before Myles Weston's brilliant free-kick silenced the home fans.

Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill Picture: Andy Jones
Ebbsfleet manager Garry Hill Picture: Andy Jones

Hill, the former Woking manager, took the applause of both sets of supporters before kick-off and Ebbsfleet made an assured start on a warm Surrey afternoon.

A well-struck long shot from Frankie Sutherland was gathered by Craig Ross before Jake Hyde's shot at the other end deflected behind for a corner.

But soon the Cards began to assert their authority on proceedings and they scored a fantastic opening goal in the ninth minute.

Jack King failed to get enough purchase on his sliding clearance up the right-hand touchline and when Lawrie Wilson gave the ball away cheaply, Tyreke Johnson let fly from 30 yards and gave Jordan Holmes no chance with a shot which kissed the far post and nestled in the back of the net.

The leaders, full of confidence and backed by a noisy home support, knocked the ball around nicely after that and threatened to increase their lead.

A smart ball through midfield almost sent Johnson clear but Holmes had spotted the danger and was out of his box quickly to intercept.

Dave Tarpey nutmegged Weston, wide on the right, and forced Holmes to tip his shot over the bar with the visitors on the ropes.

There were brief moments of encouragement for Ebbsfleet, a low shot from Alex Reid flashing across the face of goal and James Ball narrowly off-target at the near post, but Woking looked comfortable and were well on top in midfield.

Tarpey looked to have the beating of Weston, who was booked after chopping him down, and when the free-kick was delivered Holmes had to make a superb one-handed save to keep out Hyde's downward header.

Hill responded to the malaise by switching to a back three after half-an-hour, moving Ayo Obileye back into defence with John Goddard, back in the team after missing a couple of games, coming inside from the right wing to play behind strikers Josh Umerah and Reid.

Weston hit a fine shot from distance which had Ross beaten as it flew narrowly wide but much of Ebbsfleet's play was disjointed and Woking looked comfortable.

The ball wouldn't sit down for Umerah in front of goal after Weston had beaten two men on a driving run towards the end of a frustrating half for the visitors.

Myles Weston scored Ebbsfleet's stoppage-time equaliser at Woking Picture: John Westhrop
Myles Weston scored Ebbsfleet's stoppage-time equaliser at Woking Picture: John Westhrop

It was no surprise to see the ineffective Goddard replaced at the interval, Gozie Ugwu sent on to add more presence up front.

Obileye was left unmarked from a corner at the start of the second half but headed wide and Woking then had a golden chance to double their lead.

Johnson ran onto Tarpey's dinked pass and was upended by Holmes inside the box, only for Hyde to smash his penalty against the underside of the crossbar.

Buoyed by the let-off, Fleet enjoyed their best spell of the match so far and went close to an equaliser.

Tyler Cordner's header was clawed out by Ross and the visitors had a big handball shout dismissed when Ugwu's shot deflected away from goal.

Weston surged through midfield on another of his driving runs and the ball reached Reid wide on the left, although his teasing cross was headed wastefully wide by Umerah from inside the six-yard box.

Ben Gerring chopped Umerah down, 19 yards from goal, and Sutherland's free-kick brought a good diving save from Ross as Ebbsfleet continued to press.

But the Cards went close through headers from Moussa Diarra and Hyde before Tarpey's well-struck shot forced another good save from Holmes.

Obileye conceded a cheap free-kick just outside the box and Kane Ferdinand's header when the ball came over wasn't far wide.

Woking doubled their advantage, 13 minutes from time, when Tarpey led a counter-attack and Hyde ran on to apply the finish.

Johnson then ran onto a Godfrey Poku pass as the Fleet defence stood around, and Holmes once again pulled off a crucial save to keep his team in the game.

Tarpey and Diarra both went close to making it 3-0 but Fleet set up an interesting finale when Wilson latched onto Ugwu's pass and crossed low for Reid to finish at the far post.

And in the first of five added minutes, Weston curled a wonderful free-kick beyond the dive of Ross to spark wild celebrations from the travelling fans.

Ebbsfleet almost won it in the dying seconds when Umerah rounded Ross in the box but the Cards got bodies back to clear.

Woking: Ross, Cook, Casey, Gerring (Parry 72mins), Diarra, Tarpey, Ferdinand, Hyde, Poku, Johnson (Hodges 88mins), Edser (Collier 83mins). Subs not used: Howes, Kretzschmar.

Ebbsfleet: Holmes, King, Obileye, Wilson, Ball (Lawless 82mins), Goddard (Ugwu 46mins), Weston, Umerah, Sutherland (Egan 82mins), Cordner, Reid. Subs not used: Palmer, Grimes.

Attendance: 1,942.

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