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Ebbsfleet United manager Kevin Watson says King's Lynn Town would have let his team score a goal after uncontested drop ball row

Ebbsfleet would have been allowed to walk in a goal – had opponents King’s Lynn scored from an uncontested drop ball on Saturday.

Their FA Trophy second round tie came to life early on when visiting skipper Ryan Jarvis tried to return the ball to the Fleet after play was stopped for a head injury.

But Lynn striker Adam Marriott didn’t get the memo and latched onto the ball, nearly creating a goal for the visitors.

Visiting boss Ian Culverhouse immediately spoke to his counterpart – and former team-mate – Kevin Watson, who revealed what was said.

“I know Ryan Jarvis very well and it was an uncontested ball,” said Fleet boss Watson.

“Their player had gone down after the ball had hit him on the head and you’re just thinking give us the ball back, either kick it out of play or back to the keeper.

“But they actually put someone in (on goal) when we were expecting it to go back to our keeper.

“I did speak to Ian (Culverhouse) who I played with at Swindon and he said ‘if we’d scored mate we would have let you go up the other end and scored uncontested’ which is really nice of him. I know he would have stuck with that.”

The unfortunate incident was a prelude to an ill-tempered affair with seven yellow cards and a red card shown by referee Adrian Quelch.

Another flashpoint saw Jarvis escape punishment after appearing to stamp on Fleet captain Josh Payne.

Watson defended Fleet left-back Andre Blackman, who was sent-off for an off-the-ball incident in the aftermath.

“It didn’t need to be as tetchy as it was,” said Watson.

“We will look at the sending-off. I’m not sure it was. If someone grabs hold of you – and Andre has scratch marks all along his chest – they grab hold of your shirt and your skin, you naturally flick your hand up to get that arm off of you then I think you are within your rights to do that.

“Their four (Jarvis) seemingly trod on Payney’s face.

“I didn’t think it needed to be like that but it was.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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