Fleet rally as cup semi-final awaits

Ebbsfleet United are calling on supporters for one final effort this season as the club hosts Tonbridge Angels in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final this Thursday, kick-off 7.45pm – with the winners meeting Charlton Athletic in the final. Admission – an all-pay game meaning it is not free to season-ticket holders – is just £8 adults and £4 concessions. A bumper crowd would help the Fleet in what is clearly a time of crisis as the club seeks to gather new investment going into the close season.

A Liam Enver-Marum hat-trick was enough to win the Fleet a berth in the semi-final as a 4-2 defeat of Margate gave some end-of-season cheer. It was a strong Fleet side that took the game to their Ryman League opponents and on 11 minutes Ashley Carew opened the scoring, beating ex-Ebbsfleet defender Phil Starkey to a ball and firing home.

It was another former Stonebridge Road favourite who got the home side back into the game six minutes before half-time. Having missed two opportunities, Kezie Ibe made no mistake with his third, converting Matt Bodkin’s delivery from close range. Parity wasn’t restored for long, however, as Enver-Marum raced onto the end of Carew’s through ball and converted in his trademark style.

But Margate pressed in the opening quarter-hour of the second half and were rewarded on 58 minutes when Bodkin again turned provider with an inswinging corner that Tommy Whitnell crashed home. Clearly ruffled once again by their opponents scoring, Fleet responded quickly, Enver-Marum’s overhead kick on 62 minutes restoring the lead. And the Fleet striker wrapped things up with his hat-trick and a little help from Liam Bellamy, the woodwork and a deflection to see the visitors into the semi-final by four goals to two.

TEAM: Menz, Howe, Gwillim, Stone, Walsh, Phipp, Azeez, Bellamy, Carew, Payne, Enver-Marum. Subs: Blake, Elder, Barrett, Saville, Brooks.

 

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