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Ebbsfleet United 3 Aldershot Town 1 match report

Ebbsfleet came from behind to record their first home win of the season on Saturday.

They trailed to Matt McClure's early goal against Aldershot but went in level thanks to a Sean Shields strike.

Fleet stayed patient in the second half and got their reward as Andy Drury put them in front before Shields scored again late on.

Sean Shields scored two of Ebbsfleet's three goals against Aldershot Picture: Andy Payton
Sean Shields scored two of Ebbsfleet's three goals against Aldershot Picture: Andy Payton

Fit-again Dean Rance made his first start of the season, displacing Jack Powell in central midfield as Fleet made just one change from the 3-0 win at Barnet.

The visitors were only able to name four substitutes because of injuries. One of the players not involved was defender Marvin McCoy, who joined from Ebbsfleet in the summer.

Dave Winfield did well to block an early shot from McClure but the striker gave Aldershot a seventh-minute lead.

Ebbsfleet's defending left a lot to be desired as McClure was left unmarked to head Luke Wanadio's left-wing cross beyond goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.

The home side looked to respond quickly and Shields saw a shot blocked after Danny Kedwell had nodded Myles Weston's cross into his path.

Shields picked out Ebou Adams with a whipped corner from the left but his glancing header flashed past the angle.

But Ebbsfleet looked all at sea defensively and Aldershot were able to get into dangerous areas far too easily.

King's slip was almost punished - although he went close with a header at the other end - and Wanadio should have done better with his cross after being left in acres of space wide on the right.

Ebou Adams on the ball for Ebbsfleet against Aldershot Picture: Andy Payton
Ebou Adams on the ball for Ebbsfleet against Aldershot Picture: Andy Payton

Dominic Bernard was booked for lunging into a tackle on Shields but still Fleet were labouring defensively. The ball dropped for Wanadio again and he fired a shot over.

Adams headed the ball into Whitely's path but, on the run, he couldn't keep his shot down.

Jake Cole, having earlier saved well from King, was in inspired form. He stuck out a hand to deny Drury the equaliser after the midfielder had turned inside onto his left foot. Whitely picked out Shields as Fleet kept the pressure on but his shot deflected behind for a corner.

Drury's corner was headed just wide by King as Fleet, now operating with Weston at full-back in a back four, looked to make their improved play count.

Shields was stopped in full flow by Bernard and Weston should then have played Whitely through for the leveller when the hosts broke and, for a second, had a two-on-one advantage.

Whitely's classy flick found Shields in the box and although he was again blocked off, the goal did arrive 10 minutes before half-time.

Cole pushed out Adams' powerful half-volley and also got a hand to Kedwell's follow-up but there was Shields to head home from a yard out.

Goalkeeper Jake Cole desperately tries to keep Ebbsfleet at bay Picture: Andy Payton
Goalkeeper Jake Cole desperately tries to keep Ebbsfleet at bay Picture: Andy Payton

Aldershot almost retook the lead when Wanadio bent a shot towards the top corner but Ashmore dived high to his left and pulled off a fine save.

More heroics from Cole denied Winfield a goal when he got on the end of Sam Magri's cross although the first half ended on a sour note.

Play stopped when Adams reported to referee Joe Hull that he had been racially abused by a supporter in the away end. Mr Hull came across to the touchline, followed by Adams, and informed both managers and the stewards. The culprit was ejected from the ground during half-time.

The start of the second half was a more cagey affair with Ebbsfleet dominating possession and the Shots looking to counter-attack.

Wanadio drove a shot into the side netting and Whitely made way for Luke Coulson as boss Daryl McMahon tried to plot a way through the Shots backline.

It took Fleet a while to break through - but the wait was worth it. With 72 minutes on the clock, Adams helped Coulson's pass round the corner into Magri's path and his low cross was touched home by Drury.

Aldershot looked a spent force now and they were caught on the break eight minutes from time.

Coulson's raking pass sent Weston clear and although the excellent Cole saved his shot, the ball ran for Shields and he powered it into the bottom corner.

It could have been more than three in the end as Ebbsfleet created more openings at will.

Kedwell headed over from Shields' cross and Coulson was denied by a last-ditch tackle before Cole stood up to deny substitute Michael Cheek.

The visitors should have pulled a goal back at the death when Winfield gifted possession to Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong but the substitute smashed his shot against the crossbar from close range.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, Winfield, King, Magri, Rance, Drury, Weston, Adams (Bush 78mins), Whitely (Coulson 64mins), Shields, Kedwell (Cheek 84mins). Subs not used: Powell, McQueen.

Aldershot: Bernard, Lelan, Smith, Kinsella (Rowe 77mins), McDonnell, Gallagher, Wanadio, Howell, McClure (Berkeley-Agyepong 58mins), Holman (Rendell 58mins). Sub not used: Oualah.

Attendance: 1,233.

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