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MAGPIES: Nine-man Magpies sunk by Fleet
DORCHESTER TOWN 1
EBBSFLEET UNITED 3
Bricknell 37, 87, Cook 57
DORCHESTER are still looking for that elusive first Skrill South victory of the season after being sunk by the Fleet.
The Magpies had keeper Alan Walker-Harris and defender Charlie Clough sent off as their Avenue agony goes on.
Walker-Harris, who had made a host of superb saves, was red-carded after bringing down Fleet striker Michael Thalassitis in the box following a poor back pass by Neil Martin in the 66th minute.
Tim Sandercombe replaced Walker-Harris, with Dan Green taken off, and saved Thalassitis’ spot-kick with his first touch of the game.
Meanwhile, Clough received his second yellow in injury-time to add to the Magpies’ woes.
Ebbsfleet’s Billy Bricknell scored twice with Anthony Crook sealing victory for the Kent outfit while Ben Watson notched the county town side’s solitary goal.
Despite both teams looking for their first victory of the season, there was a lively start to the contest, with Green and Watson seeing efforts saved easily by the Fleet keeper in the opening exchanges.
Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin made two changes from the 1-1 draw at Gosport on Monday with Mark Jermyn and Steve Walker making way for the versatile Green and young loanee Brandon Goodship.
Goodship, playing out wide on the left, had a shot blocked in the eighth minute and Green
fired over the top four minutes later.
However, the visitors then took a foothold in the game and went close after Walker-Harris cleared with his head and was forced to palm away a lobbed effort for a corner.
Then a combination of Walker-Harris and several defenders blocked an effort on the line, which was then scrambled away for a corner.
Fleet’s Alex Osborne saw his header tipped over the bar by Walker-Harris on 28 minutes and Anthony Cook saw his overhead kick pushed over the bar by the home custodian.
Bricknell then fired over from close range as the visitors kept up the pressure.
A goal looked imminent for Fleet and they thought they had taken the lead on 32 minutes when Thalassitisi saw his effort ruled out for offside.
However, they took the lead five minutes later when Bricknell chested down the ball and fired past Walker-Harris.
Ebbsfleet started on the front foot in the second period and the home keeper had to make more fine saves to keep out Alex Osborne and Cook.
In between, Goodship saw a sharp shot turned over by visiting keeper Edwards.
The visitors doubled their lead on 57 minutes when Cook fired home from 20 yards to give Walker-Harris no chance.
The hosts then closed the deficit when, after Goodship’s effort was spilled, Watson nicked in and poked the ball home before Edwards could recover.
Then, a calamitous couple of seconds saw the game slip away from Simkin’s troops.
Martin’s back pass fell woefully short and Walker-Harris came racing out only to bring down Thalassistis.
Referee David Woodford had no other option but to red card the keeper and award a penalty to the Fleet.
Substitute keeper Sandercombe then made a terrific save from the resultant spot-kick to deny the Fleet striker after diving down to his left.
Bricknell then sealed victory for United when he smashed home his second on 87 minutes.
This was the Magpies’ fourth defeat in five games, three coming at home, and it looks like it will be a long winter for the county town outfit.
Magpies: Walker-Harris 8 (Sandercombe 66, 7), Bell 6, Martin 6, Green 7, Clough 7, Pugh 6 (Walker 77, 6), Crittenden 6 (Way 46, 6), Gleeson 6, Watson 6, Morgan 6, Goodship 6. Subs not used: Beasley, Brooks
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Palmer, Rance, Lorraine, Huke, Cook, McMahon, Thalassitis (Corcoran 69), Bricknell, Osborne (Green 81). Subs not used: Sankofa, Long, Hall
Bookings – Magpies: Clough (fouls, 45, 90+1), Crittenden (foul, 30), Gleeson (foul, 87).
Fleet: Rance (foul, 20), Lorraine (foul)
Sent off: Walker-Harris (foul, 66), Clough (two bookings 90+1)
Referee: David Woodford (Andover)
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