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Preview: Chipping away at play-off points!

There are three games to go before the regular part of 2021/22 comes to a conclusion and two of those are on successive Saturdays at the Kuflink Stadium!

Another Bank Holiday weekend rolls around for Fleet fans, who will begin the May Day double header with the visit of play-off-chasing Chippenham Town to Kent this Saturday.

And while Fleet might already have secured the very spot that Chippenham are seeking themselves, there can be no let up for either side. Third place and a semi-final home tie is in Fleet’s hands with 270 minutes of football left to play, but with Dartford just a point behind and on equal goal difference, there’s no room to give Chippenham an easy ride this weekend.

And with those 270 minutes of football all to be played in the next eight days – to be followed by the play-offs – it’s another hectic schedule for Dennis Kutrieb’s side. Fans have been cheered by the sight of Greg Cundle and Alfie Egan getting in some running before games of late but their return to action is not yet confirmed and the Fleet boss will likely continue to balance his squad minutes carefully.

Chippenham boast the third-best defensive record in the division – despite conceding five at home, including a Dominic Poleon hat-trick, the last time the clubs met – and they have reignited their play-off hopes with a couple of impressive wins of late. After losing tough matches against the leading pair of Maidstone United and Dorking Wanderers – which saw manager Mike Cook depart in between – wins over Oxford City and Dulwich Hamlet have seen the Bluebirds move to within a point of Havant & Waterlooville and that all-important seventh place. And Chippenham’s final match of the season just happens to be against Havant!

They’ll want to head into that one with as many points and as much chance as possible of overhauling the Hawks, and that will likely mean the necessity for at least a point if not all three at the Kuflink Stadium. New interim boss Gary Horgan will need to utilise a mix of an experienced defence alongside some loanees and youth-team graduates but he has been making the most of that in recent weeks as Chippenham play without fear in these final games.

Striker Jordan Young, signed from Gloucester City, is the chief threat but there are goals through the team and midfielders Alefe Santos and Joe Hanks boast five each.

This will be Chippenham’s third visit to the Fleet, with the two FA competitions last season settled here on penalties – a win apiece in those. The Bluebirds already look to have secured one piece of history this season – their highest finish in 149 years – but it’s the bigger prize of the top seven they come in search of this Saturday.

Form-wise, Chippenham sit 10th with three wins and three defeats from their last six, while Fleet are third thanks to four wins in succession.

MATCHDAY SMALL PRINT ——–>

ONLINE SALES
Our online ticketing sales platform at fleetlive.club has tickets available until 12.00pm on matchday. We would advise pre-purchase for both your and our convenience in gaining admission to the ground.

On-the-day ticket sales continue to be available from the windows by main reception, accepting card and cash payments. Turnstiles open at 1pm but they will only accept online tickets (printed out or on your device) and tickets bought at the windows on matchday. The dedicated season-ticket gate will continue to accept your season-ticket cards as usual.

Tickets may also be purchased before the game from local pubs The Edinburgh Castle and The Rose.

MAIN STAND BAR
There is no segregation for this game – so all supporters are welcome in our Main Stand Bar and Social Club bar. To access the Main Stand bar, enter through the turnstiles and walk the length of the gangway in the Main Stand to the door at the Swanscombe (uncovered) End. There is signage pointing you in the direction. Dennis Kutrieb does a pre-match teamsheet run-through and he and other players attend the bar post-match as well for the man of the match presentation.

Please also support our post-match live music set from Neil and Jamie from 5-7pm after the game… all supporters are welcome to join us after the final whistle for this free live entertainment and, from 4.45pm, the bar and music is open to everyone, not just match attendees.

CATERING OUTLETS
Check out our food stalls (to the left of the main turnstiles entrance, there is our Würtsel Haus German sausage experience and straight ahead as you enter the ground is the Manhattan Grill for all your burger, hot dog and more needs!). Pop-up bars are also situated near to the turnstiles and by ‘Geeks Corner’ between the Plough End and old stand. Our guest lager from Iron Pier Brewery features in another popup bar next to the German food stall and there are Iron Pier cans available in our tea kiosks.

CAR PARKING
Car-parking as per usual on matchdays is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3. Please have the correct change if possible to aid our parking staff and again, we would recommend an early arrival. Please note that the areas near to Northfleet Station, namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road, are resident/permit-only parking and non-valid vehicles will be ticketed. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout as you approach the Kuflink Stadium is a designated clearway – though that is not particularly apparent as you approach – so you are advised not to park here because of the risk of being ticketed.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMMES
If you wish to purchase your programme in advance for collection from our club shop before you enter the ground, you can do so either via our online shop or when booking your matchday tickets online.

Programmes are also on sale at the ground from the club shop, the popup bar as you enter the turnstiles, the Main Stand tea kiosk or in the Social Club behind the Plough End, costing £3. Advance-order programmes will be available to pick up from the club shop before the game and before you enter the turnstiles.

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CONTACT...

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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