Fleet boss Steve Brown may come to enjoy cup ties as the Fleet’s 100% home record is in sharp contrast to their league form at Stonebridge Road. But Brown was a happy man to register the win over Folkestone Invicta, repeating his mantra that wins breed self-belief in a team he suggested could do with added confidence.
“Relief is what I’m feeling,” he told Radio Kent’s Charles Webster, “to manage a win without performing well in the second half, especially in a cup tie. I’ll take a goal from any angle, any position.”
And while the Fleet boss was once again frustrated by his side’s inability to add to their early lead, he was happy enough to get his nose in front. “We are a tough side to break down, we don’t give away too many opportunities for the other team so to get in front is good, we just need to add that second or third goal. We took our foot off the pedal second half. We were excellent for 35, 40 minutes, but we need to puff our chests out and compose ourselves. We didn’t do that in the second half. Is that because we keep drawing games? It’s a lack of confidence, maybe we’re panicking at the thought of drawing another game and we just need that little bit more composure.
“But it’s important for morale to win. I wanted to win that, I want to win on Tuesday in the Kent Senior Cup. Winning is a great habit and I’m delighted we’re through today. Results breed confidence.”
Brown was also pleased to see Ben May get an hour under his belt on his first Stonebridge Road appearance and reported no repercussions after the game. “Ben looked comfortable throughout and trained well this week. I thought it better to start him given the nature of his injury than bring him on and he got through 60 minutes. We saw what he can do in that time. Naturally he faded, but it was a great workout and showed what he can do. He brings a different dimension, a threat in the air, his hold-up play is good and he’s only going to get better.”
Defeated Invicta boss Neil Cugley was left wondering ‘what if’ as he rued Dane Luchford’s shot that hit the post and rolled along the line. “Ebbsfleet were the better side in the first half, tough and physically stronger. It was a poor goal for us to give away defensively. But second half we were in it. So much so we put four up front at the end and I thought we deserved a draw. It was important we didn’t let that second goal in and I thought we ended up the better side. Another day, that Dane Luchford chance would be in and then the pressure’s right back on them, the home fans start moaning that bit more… who knows then? It certainly didn’t look like there were two divisions between us.”