Ebbsfleet United cross swords with Maidstone United once more this evening with a Kent Reliance Senior Cup quarter-final berth up for grabs.
The Second Round tie at the Gallagher Stadium will be the third meeting between the clubs this season, with honours even at one win apiece. Fleet last won the competition in 2014, while the Stones are looking for their first triumph in the cup since 1990.
Daryl McMahon is likely to field as many of his fringe first-teamers as possible and supplement the squad with some of the younger Academy players not involved in this Thursday’s FA Youth Cup game. So where we might have seen the likes of Karn Miller-Neave and Shilow Tracey under normal circumstances in the Senior Cup, they are concentrating on their vital clash at AFC Wimbledon. Certainly the likes of Charlie Sheringham (pictured), Michael West and Jon Miles are expected to feature.
McMahon, who won the competition as a player in 2014, has even pondered putting his boots back on, saying: “I might register myself to be a sub! Obviously, this is not the key thing for us this season and I’m sure Maidstone will be the same. But neither are we going to disrespect the competition. We’ll give players some game time if they need it, maybe some of the younger academy boys too, but the lads who have played most of the league games will have a rest and we’ll go from there. I don’t want to risk players unnecessarily but we’ll still field a very decent side and look to progress.”
While Fleet have yet to play a Kent Senior Cup game this season, Maidstone earned their passage courtesy of a 2-1 win at Thamesmead Town and they fielded four or five first-teamers that night, so are likely to approach the game in much the same manner as the Fleet with regard to team strength. One noteworthy appearance could be that of midfielder Charles Banya, the former Crawley and Woking player, who was signed last week but has yet to appear for the club.
Admission at the Gallagher is at the reduced rates of £10/£5/£2/£1. The winner of tonight’s tie, which will be decided after extra time and penalties if necessary, is at home to either VCD Athletic or Phoenix Sports.