Plaudits for defence as boss demanded more from second-half

The three points was the important thing after a buoyant first-half display but Dennis Kutrieb wanted more from the second-half showing.

The Fleet boss praised Jack Paxman’s goal and performance, the midfielder having moved from New Lodge last season and he engaged in a running battle for an hour with a man who made the move in the opposite direction over the summer, Frankie Sutherland.

“The bottom line is we have three points and we wanted to have three points,” Kutrieb said after the final whistle. “I’m really happy for Jack Paxman because he played here against his old team and he did a great job today and big credit to him.

“His goal was a really, really good one. In some training sessions he hit everything but not the goal! But today he did it much better and now he can keep going in this situation for himself.”

Kutrieb felt the home side were dead and buried after Fleet managed the game well for an hour but Jake Robinson’s well-taken goal breathed new life into Billericay.

“The second half, we can play better, we can do more,” said the manager. “We didn’t do enough for me and I’m unhappy about the second half, because the team we played against was dead. They score for 2-1 and then it was a different game. [Until then] they only played long balls in to Sefa [Kahraman]. So we defended well, we didn’t concede a second goal but the way we played was not enough, especially in second half.”

The defence has been forced into several changes this season already through suspension and injury and today it was Tobi Adebayo-Rowling who filled in at centre-half for the second 45 minutes, ably assisted by energetic substitute Will Wood.

“Ben Frempah has had a long time off so he was not ready for 90 minutes,” said Kutrieb. “But Tobi did really well and Woody came in at right full-back and did it well also. But [Frempah going off] was not the point. The point was that we stopped playing and when we stopped playing we get problems. You could see in the last game when we played with 10 men, we played a high tempo, we played good football with much pace and everything else but today we didn’t do enough.”

Fleet were reduced to 10 men in the dying seconds when Ben Chapman led with a high boot and received a second yellow card but Kutrieb felt that was down to the player’s enthusiasm to preserve his side’s lead.

“He’s a young player and you can see at 94 minutes, he’s very motivated and ambitious and wants to get every ball. It was maybe needless in that he doesn’t have to do it but it’s not useful, especially for the next game.

“We have a big squad and I want to play every three days but now we have 10 days off so we can recover and see how the next training sessions go so that we can play, especially in the second half, a better game.”

Fleet stayed fifth in the table as everyone currently in the top section of the division gained three points. That’s not something the manager is interested in this early on, however.

“I don’t care about that at the moment because we have only played a few games,” said Kutrieb. “After 10 games I will have a look at the table and then we can see where we are, but earlier than 10 games it’s useless.”


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Ed Miller

Ed Miller

Ed Miller has been Ebbsfleet United's communications manager and programme editor since 2014 and responsible for the club website since 2007. Contact him on ed.miller@eufc.co.uk

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