REPORT | Ebbsfleet United 4-2 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 30 Mar 2019

Three first half goals gave the home side what should have been a comfortable afternoon, but a triple change by manager Bryan Hughes at the break swung the game again, as the visitors pulled two goals back.

Although any thoughts of completing a fight back for an unlikely point, were ended in the final minutes as United caught us with men up field to grab their fourth.

There were interesting developments pre-match, as the home players didn’t warm up and a letter was passed around the ground concerning issues they had with the club’s owners.

Certainly not put off by events in the build-up to kick-off, the Fleet were on their game from the start and after one narrow let off, they took the lead inside 10 minutes.

A low cross from Myles Weston on their left wing, was directed into the Wrexham penalty area, where it was turned passed his own keeper by skipper Shaun Pearson from about eight-yards out, to give United the lead.

Shortly afterwards, a long ball downfield from keeper Nathan Ashmore, let Corey Whitely with a run at goal, but his shot from 18-yards was not the best and Rob Lainton made a comfortable save.

Wrexham did come more into the game, with Akil Wright and Mark Carrington pushing the Dragons forward from midfield.

On 26 minutes, Kemy Agustien tested Ashmore with a 30-yard free kick, but the home keeper was able to make the save.

More good work by the former Swansea man, saw the ball worked out to James Jennings on the left wing and his high cross aimed to Jermaine McGlashan at the back post, where the winger did get a touch, but the effort was off target.

Whitely was set up well by Weston for a free shot from the edge of the Wrexham box, but the effort was charged down by Carrington for a corner,

McGlashan used his speed on 33 minutes to intercept the ball and race into the home area, but he was surrounded by home players, who smothered the danger.

A second goal for Ebbsfleet arrived on 39 minutes, as Jack Payne’s corner was headed home by Michael Cheek, as the striker seemed to have a free run across our six-yard box to meet the ball at the near post.

The half just got worse for the travelling fans on 44 minutes, as a third goal presented itself to Cheek, as a cross by Gozie Ugwu was deflected off a Wrexham defender and straight into his path, leaving him with the easy task of sweeping the ball home from a few yards.

As we moved into added time, Weston then found himself in acres of space to run onto a loose ball but his low shot was well saved by Lainton.

Ht 3-0

There was a triple change for the Welshmen at half time – with Luke Young, Stuart Beavon and Jason Oswell coming on for Agustien, Spyrou and McGlashan.

The Dragons were onto the scoresheet just four minutes after the break, when first Carrington went down in the box, but the ball broke to Paul Rutherford, who fired back across goal and Beavon knocked it home from two yards out, in front of the Wrexham supporters.

A glimmer of hope, maybe, but at least something to lift the spirits.

Another free kick for Wrexham, saw Pearson go to ground as he challenged with two red shirts, but the referee was having nothing of it and spoke with the defender at length.

There was a yellow card each for Oswell and Sam Magri, after the two came together challenging for a high ball.

Ashmore then produced a stunning save to deny James Jennings on 71 minutes, as the full back got a towering header to a Rutherford cross, but the keeper somehow flipped the ball over his cross bar for a corner.

Pearson then had his name taken for wrestling with the big unit Ugwu after 74 minutes.

Wrexham were committing men forward, looking for another goal, but on 76 minutes Oswell’s diving header to a left-wing corner, flew across the face if the home goal and away to safety. This after Jennings had won the flag kick, with a shot that was deflected away.

Another Young corner on 82 minutes, saw the ball twice cleared off the Ebbsfleet goal line, before Pearson was able to force it home from close range

There should have been a leveller from the kick-off, as Ashmore lost the ball on the edge of his box, Oswell collected squared it to Jennings, but for a second time he was denied by another fine save by the home keeper.

Pushing men forward, the Dragons got caught out by an overlapping move that ended with Weston getting the ball free on the right of the box and firing a low shot passed Lainton with four minutes remaining, to kill off hopes of a late equaliser.

That was the way it finished, despite five added minutes.

Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, King, Magri, Rance (Adams 86), Weston, Cheek (Graham 77), Ugwu, Payne, Whitely (Drury 66), Bush, Wilson.
Subs: Moncur, Kedwell.

Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts, Pearson, Lawlor, Jennings, Carrington, Wright, Agustien (Young 46), McGlashan (Oswell 46), Spyrou (Beavon 46), Rutherford.
Subs: Dibble, Holroyd.

Referee: Chris Pollard (Suffolk)
Attendance: 1,523
Away: 150ish

Bookings -
Ebbsfleet United:
Magri (63, UGC), Payne (64, foul)
Wrexham: Oswell (63, UGC), Pearson (74, foul), Carrington (84, foul), Lawlor (90, foul)


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