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Ebbsfleet United v Welling United preview
Ebbsfleet United v Welling United preview

This evening Ebbsfleet United entertain Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup Quarter Finals.

Both Uniteds ply their trade in the Vanarama National League South but are having very different seasons. Ebbsfleet are runaway leaders with a fifteen point margin over second placed Dartford, and even if the Darts were to win every game remaining, the Fleet would only require thirteen points from their last eight games.

It’s a very different situation for Welling. Only Havant and Waterlooville sit below them in the form table over the last six games, a dip which has them looking over their shoulders. They still have a six point buffer but will want to pick up a couple of wins soon to avoid being dragged into the relegation dogfight.

As a result, the respective managers are likely to play a few fringe players and youngsters in their sides. Both clubs started the campaign with byes and entered the competition at the last sixteen stage.

Ebbsfleet’s mixture of youth and experience defeated Dartford two-one to end the visitors’ hopes of winning the tournament for the third consecutive time.

Shaq Coulthirst put the Fleet ahead seven minutes before half time and Darren McQueen doubled their lead midway through the second period.

Jack Smith pulled one back four minutes later and Dartford almost forced a penalty shoot out when an Alex Wall free kick crashed back out off the crossbar.

Penalties were required to separate Welling and Sittingbourne. Welling’s young side went ahead in the fourth minute through academy player Sam Bayford, then Cameron Andrews made it two from the spot after being brought down in the penalty area.

Seven minutes later Duane Acheampong-Ofori pulled one back and Mario Quiassaca levelled early in the second half. Henry Dasofunjo came closest to winning it for the Brickies when his shot hit the post before it went to spot kicks.

After five efforts each, the score stood at four-four. Tom Dickens scored for Welling before Matthew Warren’s effort came back off the same post that Dasofunjo had hit, and the Wings were through.

Although neither club are prioritising this tournament, both managers are competitive and will want to progress to an away semi-final at Chatham Town.

Picture supplied by Dave Budden.