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Ebbsfleet Women break new ground at the Kuflink

Ebbsfleet United’s Women’s team made it two wins out of two on home soil as they produced a momentous result to seal a 3-2 win over Chelsea Women’s Academy at Wednesday night’s pre-season game.

The crowd of 857 was the highest for a men’s or women’s pre-season friendly this summer with a steady influx of youngsters introduced to football under the lights at the Kuflink Stadium for the first time.

Chelsea took the lead early in the first half with a fine solo effort from distance but the Fleet fought back with two goals on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Dan Carlton, responding after Lati Adaja’s shot hit the bar, and Lydia Wills to turn the game on its head.

The visiting Blues equalised after the break but Fleet took advantage of a goalmouth scramble following initial saves by the Chelsea keeper when Ellie Perkins pounced (pictured above) to summon big cheers in the crowd just six minutes from the end.

Goalscorers Dan Carlton, Lydia Wills and Ellie Perkins

Ebbsfleet United Women Head Coach Sam Macneil said, “A massive thank-you to all the crowd, all ages from five up to 85. It’s amazing how much the female football at the Fleet has already captivated the imagination of so many. On the pitch, we were outstanding and held our shape extremely well. To come out 3-2 winners is just outstanding.”

Dennis Kutrieb and Haydn Hollis were joined by Omari Sterling-James, CEO Damian Irvine and first-team coach Chris Franks in the stands to watch the Women’s friendly

When news of the new women’s teams at Ebbsfleet United emerged this summer, club CEO Damian Irvine said, “Perhaps most exciting for us is that the large number of wonderful young girls who attend and support the club with their parents on matchdays will be able to aspire to follow the club and perhaps play under the same badge one day as boys have historically been able to.“

Anyone who attended last night’s fixture would have seen that bear fruit, with those very same large numbers of young girls and parents amongst a crowd just shy of 900 no doubt inspired by the Ebbsfleet side they saw on Wednesday night – and no longer strangers to football at the Kuflink Stadium on their doorsteps.

Ebbsfleet Women begin their league campaign at the Kuflink Stadium next Sunday against Dulwich Hamlet – for forthcoming fixtures through to December click here.

Photos from last night’s game can be viewed here.

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