Chris McPhee’s penalty isn’t enough as Fleet fail to capitalise on first-half display…
EBBSFLEET UNITED 1-1 EXETER CITY
Billed as a six-pointer, the two teams in this fixture eventually had to settle for one despite Fleet’s almost total dominance in the first-half.
Liam Daish reverted to the side that knocked Weymouth out of the FA Trophy following the reverse at the Wessex Stadium in the Setanta Shield in midweek and Fleet roared off the blocks, encouraged by the season’s largest home attendance. Exeter barely got out of their half in a quick-tempo opening spell and Stacy Long again exploited the left side as he has done to such devastating effect since New Year’s Day. And it was from that channel that the Fleet worked their first real opening, Long sprinting into space and finding Luke Moore who flashed a shot wide.
Long had a second opportunity two minutes later, again eluding the Grecians’ defence and planting a shot on target which Andy Marriott did well to tip over the bar. The Fleet were using their wide men to good effect, with Chris McPhee finding space to drift from the middle to the flanks while John Akinde’s power unsettled the Exeter back four. And it was Akinde who carved out Fleet’s first goal on 17 minutes as he twisted, turned or otherwise forced his way through several players before Daniel Seaborne tripped the Fleet striker as he threatened to show him a clean pair of heels. McPhee made no mistake, sending the penalty to Andy Marriott’s left as the goalkeeper dived the other way.
The Fleet looked confident for the remainder of the first period, penning Exeter in their own half and spraying the ball around with an assurance borne of 10 home league victories this season. Indeed the home side should have made it 2-0 two minutes later when