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Ebbsfleet United manager Danny Searle reacts to 2-0 home defeat by Altrincham in National League and the battle to avoid relegation

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle admitted he always felt their survival bid would go to the final week of the season.

The Fleet battered play-off chasing Altrincham on Saturday but two goals in four minutes condemned them to a 2-0 home defeat.

How the National League table looks going into the final week of the season.
How the National League table looks going into the final week of the season.

With Boreham Wood then winning over Aldershot in the televised game, it means the Fleet are only two points above the relegation zone with two games to play.

Ebbsfleet are away to FC Halifax on Tuesday while Wood make the trip to Rochdale, the Fleet then visit Boreham Wood on the final day of the season on Saturday.

“The way the league’s gone this season we probably knew this was going to be the case,” confessed Searle.

“We were always going to lose games, we probably couldn’t keep winning football matches because if that was the case I wouldn’t be sitting here now, we’d be top of the league.

“We’ve got an Achilles heel that we thought we’d eradicated but they’ve sneaked back in a little bit, over-playing at times in our defensive half, but we’ll put that right and go to Halifax on Tuesday with all the confidence that we need.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position where it’s in our hands, we’re still in control and we need to make sure we take care of business.”

Ebbsfleet dominated Altrincham but couldn’t find a way past inspired keeper Ethan Ross, who produced a string of brilliant saves.

There were missed chances as well, but it wasn’t through a lack of effort from the home side.

“We could have been here until next Saturday and wouldn’t have scored a goal,” added Searle.

“I thought we were excellent in large parts of the game, especially in the second half.

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle. Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

“The opposition manager was almost apologetic but if we go back to the first half, we had five or six fantastic opportunities to score goals. But then we gifted them two goals, we didn’t do what we’ve been doing really well.

“You can’t obviously but if you take the two goals out of it, if you were watching this game and said who’s the team potentially going up to League 2 next season you’d have said us.

“The difference is both penalty areas. We weren’t good enough defensively in ours and we weren’t good enough offensively in theirs. When you’re like that, you always give the opposition a chance. Not only that, we handed them two goals.

Report: Ebbsfleet 0-2 Altrincham

“We’ve rode the emotional wave of getting the pointts on the board that we have as we could be in a really dangerous position if we hadn’t.

“It’s still in our hands, we still have control of that but the frustrating thing is that we clearly showed we should be around that if we can tidy up in both areas, which is something we need to do really quickly.”

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