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Match Reports

Report: Ebbsfleet United 1-1 Southend United

22 July 2017

Blues came from behind to draw 1-1 with National League Premier side Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road after Trialist cancelled out Darren McQueen's opener.

The opening exchanges between the two sides created little in the way of clear opportunities for either team, with Ryan Leonard stinging the palms of Nathan Ashmore the only effort of note.

A few minutes later and Ashmore was called upon again as Theo Robinson was slipped in by Jack Bridge, but the frontman was unable to get the ball beyond the sprawling ‘keeper.

Ebbsfleet won promotion to the National League Premier via the play-offs last season and have a number of ex-Football League players in their ranks, including former Blue, Myles Weston.

Their first chance came from the head of Danny Mills who headed over from inside the area before Luke Coulson forced a fine low save out of Mark Oxley to deny him the opening goal.

Michael Kightly – fresh off scoring his first goal since his return in midweek – had two efforts well blocked inside the Fleet box as the rain began to lash down at Stonebridge Road.

Just before the break Fleet had a great chance to open the scoring when the ball fell kindly to full-back Marvin McCoy at the near-post, but he dragged his effort wide as it stayed goalless.

Blues forced a fine save out of Ashmore in the first minute of the second half when Michael Timlin’s free-kick from the edge of the area was well tipped over by the Fleet goalkeeper.

And the deadlock was finally broken midway through the half as Darren McQueen capitalised on a mistake by Harry Kyprianou to give the non-league side the lead.

Kyprianou, on as a half-time substitute, misjudged a long ball forward allowing McQueen to race clear, rounding Oxley before finding the back of the net.

Simon Cox was brought on straight after and he came within millimetres of equalising as he got a toe onto a low cross from Kyprianou, only to see the ball hit the face of the post and be cleared.

But Blues did manage to find an equaliser shortly after as Stephen Hendrie muscled his way onto the ball, clipping a long ball over the top to Southend’s Trialist.

The Trialist beat the onrushing Ashmore to the ball, leaving the forward with the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net to bring Phil Brown’s side level.  

Southend went in search of a winner and hit the woodwork for the second time in the game with Trialist and Dru Yearwood linking well before Yearwood smacked the crossbar from close range.

And in the final moments, Southend hit the crossbar again after Jason Demetriou’s cross was flicked onto the top of the woodwork by the head of Ryan Leonard as Blues settled for a draw.  

Blues XI: Oxley, White, Matsuzaka (Demetriou 62’), Ferdinand, Hendrie (Kyprianou 46’), Bridge (Cox 62’), Leonard, Timlin (Yearwood 75’), Kightly, Fortune, Robinson (Trialist 68’). Subs Not Used: Smith, Klass, Cotton, McGlashan, Bwomono

Scorers:

Ebbsfleet United: Darren McQueen 66’

Southend United: Trialist 74’


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