MATCH REPORT: Ebbsfleet United 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
This was a potential top of the table clash between two teams competing to take the Southern Div C league title. Ebbsfleet were the victors of the match winning the game 2-0 on a cold afternoon in Gravesend.
Spurs kicked off proceedings with the ball switching from end to end, after a short game of head tennis in the midfield, the game began to take shape with Fleet comfortable on the ball and willing to attack. The first chance fell to Ebbsfleet, a long throw which caused Tottenham?s pink clothed goalkeeper to scramble and punch clear. At the other end, a long ball saw a Spurs striker go through but only for him to produce a tamed half volley to keeper Joe Hagan. With a succession of hard tackles and free kicks won in and around the Spurs area, Fleet looked the more threatening to get a foothold in the game.
Within minutes they did with a well worked goal, a ball clipped to Ed Sharman who directed a header into the path of the onrushing Dion Monaghan, the striker then literally slid the ball pass the keeper. Minutes later, a good passing move saw Charlie Epps cut in from the left, opening his body to slide it in like Thierry Henry, the keeper guessed right and brilliantly tipped it around the post. Other goal threat of note fell to the pressing Fleet; Centre half Joe Bannan had a header deflect to Monaghan who volleyed over and Brendan Cullen swung a teasing cross which only needed a flick but no one was there for the all important touch. Spurs had a great chance just before half time to even the contest. A ball smacked over the top, the Spurs no.9 clear through one on one, fluffed his lines by hitting straight at the keeper.
The 2nd half started with a succession of free kicks for both sides, a few hard challenges livened up both teams and especially the frozen spectators. Sam Collins had a 25-yard shot which was well stopped by a Spurs Centre half throwing himself in front of the goal bound strike. Charlie Epps had two chances to get a second goal; one a shot which slid past the near post and a half volley from outside the box which skimmed past the North Londoners woodwork. Tottenham tried to play the ball forward but became frustrated as the Fleet were the more dominant in the tackle and in the air.
Fleet persisted producing some good play down the right and the tricky Lon Azeez tip toed in the final third to win some free kicks. The Spurs keeper was tested once again with a Shaman header which was neatly tipped past the post. The North Londoners threatened from a corner which was headed over which notable was their only clear cut opportunity of the 2nd half. The game was sealed with a contender for goal of the month. A ball cleared out of the box where Fleets? Sam Collins, a good 30 yards out, belted a strike which swerved and dipped to beat the keeper.
The boys in red had a couple more chances to make it a bigger score line but the final whistle went, with the Fleet more happier walking back to the dressing rooms.