Ebbsfleet United v Boreham Wood
by John Mead.
Reincarnated Ebbsfleet provide the next stern test for Wood this coming Saturday. New owners, new manager and almost a totally new squad featuring three Wood favourite’s await the boys down in Kent.
Daryl McMahon, Michael Thallassitis and Osei Sankofa now ply their trade under Steve Brown, along with a host of other key signings during the close season. In fact Wood fans will recognise almost the entire Ebbsfleet starting eleven, given their proven pedigree at this level.
Brown has just engaged the services of Andy Pugh on a month’s loan from Cambridge United. Wood fans will remember him more from his prolific days up front for Welling United. A host of players have migrated along with Brown from his former club Dover Athletic, whilst Anthony Cook and Aiden Palmer are another two astute signings, joining from Chelmsford City.
Both keeper Preston Edwards and influential Captain Paul Lorraine were at the Fleet when we last met back in the 2010-2011 season. It was a one off for Liam Daish’s side in the Conference South, where they spent just one season before returning back to the Conference Premier.
We had the pleasure of their company on three occasions that season, our first ever at this level.
A 0-1 defeat at home in the league was followed a week later by a trip to Stonebridge Road for an F A Cup 4th Qualifying Round tie. Much anticipation was ruined by one Leon McKenzie who was red carded after just 25 minutes, leaving us with a mountain that proved to be too high, going down 3-0.
At least there was some joy on our last visit, when now Woking regular Mike Cestor at just eighteen years old turned in a man of the match performance to allow us to grab a 2-2 draw. Only Mario Noto remains from the side that played that day as Luke Garrard was out injured at the time. It was a special day for us, with that precious point and other results leading to us being for the first time in the season mathematically clear of the drop zone!
Neither Wood nor The Fleet have set the table alight thus far. In fact Ebbsfleet have yet to win at home, but with five draws from their eight games so far to add to an away day win at Dorchester Town the facts are deceiving. Make no mistake The Fleet will be up there challenging this campaign as they try to emulate their feat of the 2010-11 season!
Come on The Wood!!
Ebbsfleet United v Boreham Wood, Saturday September 21st kick off 3pm.
Stonebridge Road, Northfleet. DA11 9GN.