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Ebbsfleet United 1 Maidenhead United 2 match report

Ebbsfleet's woes continued at Stonebridge Road on Saturday, despite an improved display against Maidenhead in the National League.

Having sacked boss Garry Hill in the week, Fleet were hoping for a change of fortune.

Ebbsfleet forward Josh Umerah opens the scoring. Picture: Matthew Walker
Ebbsfleet forward Josh Umerah opens the scoring. Picture: Matthew Walker

There was more passing and an emphasis on retaining possession better, which worked to an extent, but Ebbsfleet still ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline as Maidenhead claimed their first win in nine matches.

Caretaker Fleet boss Kevin Watson made three changes from the team that went down 4-2 at home to Torquay on Tuesday night.

Andre Blackman started down the left, on-loan Charlton midfielder Albie Morgan played alongside Josh Payne and new recruit from Newport, Marvel Ekpiteta, was part of a three-man defence in a change of formation.

Fleet started well enough, a series of early corners putting the visitors under pressure with keeper Chris Dunn having to tip away one dangerous Myles Weston delivery.

Josh Umerah carried on his goalscoring form to give Fleet the lead on 19 minutes. Fresh from his brace against Torquay, Umerah reacted quickest to Seth Twumasi's poor backpass and bundled the ball beyond Dunn at the second attempt.

Andre Blackman gets forward down the left wing. Picture: Matthew Walker
Andre Blackman gets forward down the left wing. Picture: Matthew Walker

The lead was shortlived, however, as Maidenhead enjoyed a huge slice of luck when Danny Whitehall's long-range free-kick was cruelly deflected past the hapless Jordan Holmes.

Maidenhead should have led just past the half-hour but Josh Kelly fired against the bar from close range.

The impressive Kelly then had strong claims for a penalty turned away by referee James Durkin on the stroke of half-time. Clear of the Fleet defence, Kelly got to the ball ahead of Holmes but the official only gave a goal kick when the Maidenhead player went to ground under Holmes' challenge.

The impressive Morgan - who played in the play-off semi-final for Charlton in May - nearly capped his debut with a goal but, having driven forward, he shot narrowly wide from 25 yards early in the second half.

New signing Marvel Ekpiteta on his Ebbsfleet debut. Picture: Matthew Walker
New signing Marvel Ekpiteta on his Ebbsfleet debut. Picture: Matthew Walker

Ryan Upward went close for the visitors but chances were at a premium in the heavy rain after the break.

Payne's long-range shot was pushed away by Dunn as Fleet's patient build-up was nearly rewarded midway through the second half.

But disaster struck when Fleet conceded with just 13 minutes left - and they had only themselves to blame.

A left-wing corner by Josh Smile found Upward totally unmarked five yards out and he gleefully nodded beyond Holmes to give Maidenhead all three points.

Ebbsfleet: Holmes, Ekpiteta (Obileye 73mins), King, Cordner, Wilson, Payne, Weston, Morgan, Blackman (Sutherland 82mins), Umerah (Adeloye 77mins), Ugwu. Subs not used: Palmer, Grimes.

Maidenhead: Dunn, Twumasi, Ellul, Massey, Steer, Sheckleford (Cassidy 73mins), Clerima, Upward, Smile (Mensah 90mins), Whitehall, Kelly (Akintunde 86mins). Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Grant.

Attendance: 1,003.

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