AFC Halifax Town 0-1 Ebbsfleet United
AFC Halifax Town 0-1 Ebbsfleet United

Gozie Ugwu’s 14th goal of a frustrating season was enough for Ebbsfleet United to secure three vital points in their survival battle in the National League as the Fleet defied the odds in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Ugwu’s goal in the 16th minute of the game may not win any “goal of the month” awards, but as far as Kevin Watson and his Fleet players are concerned the strikers shot that went in off the post could have golden value if the National League is allowed to run its course. 

That said because of results elsewhere, the Fleet move up two places to now occupy the final relegation place and move to within a solitary point of safety with their fourth win in their last six games albeit with the worst goal difference of the battlers!

However the four sides immediately above Watson’s side all have games in hand but make no mistake this win really does open the survival door for the Fleet with hopefully seven games left.

Josh Umerah had a great early chance for the visitors as his shot cannoned off the outside of the left post.  Sadly, for the young striker it was to be his final contribution to the game as he injured himself in shooting.

His replacement Tommy Adeloyeat made an immediate impact as he created what was to prove to be the match winner for Ugwu. The substitute did really well to win the ball in the corner, and his first-time centre was drilled home by the Fleet’s top scorer – his fourth goal in the last four games.

As you would expect from a side looking for the play offs, the home side responded but failed to really test Holmes in the Fleet goal – the closest they came was from a Jack Renshaw free kick that went too high. Too often the home sides final ball was snuffed out by a magnificent Fleet back-line who were superbly marshalled by skipper Jack King – who quite rightly went on to be the man of the match for the TV broadcasters.

The second half began with the Yorkshiremen huffing and puffing but time and time again, their attacks foundered on a red wall with King and his fellow defenders saving their best for the TV cameras.  Indeed on 66 minutes Ugwu muscled his way through again only to drill his effort into the side netting.

Sho-Silva had Holmes on his knee to save his shot comfortably as the home side became more and more desperate but their final pass was desperately poor. 

On the opening day of the season – in the reverse fixture – the Fleet were humbled four one and they lost their skipper after only 14 minutes but on this occassion revenge was sweet for the Fleet. Should the season resume this win could mean so much in a relegation battle that just a few weeks ago they looked doomed.

AFC HALIFAX TOWN – Johnson, Binnom-Williams Holmes, Clarke, Williams, Staunton, Nolan (Sho-Silvaat 69), King, (MacDonald 79), Cooper, Maher, Redshaw, Rodney

Subs – Earing, Appleyard, Hanson

EBBSFLEET UNITED – Holmes, Wilson (Lawlessat 85), Grimes, Goddard, Ekpiteta, Jack King, Timlin, McGlashan, Payne, Ugwu, Umerah (Adeloyeat 14)

Subs – Palmer, Achuba, Gregory

REFEREE – Mr Speedie