Match Report: Ebbsfleet United 1-0 Barrow

The report from our clash with Ebbsfleet at the Kuflink Stadium.

The Bluebirds were left wondering how they were leaving Kent with no points after Danny Kedwell’s strike gave Ebbsfleet United a 1-0 win in front of 1277 at the Kuflink Stadium.

Several changes were made from Tuesday’s match at Harrogate, the most notable being Joel Dixon coming in for Andy Firth to make his first appearance for the Bluebirds in eight months after recovering from a long term injury. Luke Burgess, Jack Hindle, Erico Sousa, Josh Granite and Brian Wilson were also named in the starting 11. However, there was a blow for Barrow before the game kicked off with Josh Granite picking up an injury in the warm ups meaning Kyle Jameson took his place in the centre of defence, with Andy Firth taking a place on the bench.

The hosts got off to a bright start and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area with less than a minute played. Chris Bush stepped up and his fierce strike was well saved by Dixon who did well to push the ball away to safety.

The Bluebirds had their first sight of goal with five minutes played, Josh Kay picked the ball up around 25 yards out and struck a low effort that was held by Nathan Ashmore in the Ebbsfleet goal.

It was Barrow who went on to do most of the pressing in a good 20 minute spell. Erico Sousa was played in behind the Fleet defence on the right hand side, but his cut back was cleared. John Rooney then did well to regain possession and find Josh Kay, his cross found Sousa who could only fire wide. With just under a quarter of an hour played Sousa had another chance, but he saw his dipping effort go just over the bar.

Whilst the Bluebirds continued to press, Ebbsfleet had a golden chance to open the scoring with just over 25 minutes played. A quick break down the right saw the ball pulled back to Corey Whitely, but he blazed his effort over Dixon’s bar from 18 yards.

As the half hour mark approached Barrow had several more good chances. First, a clever short corner routine saw the ball fall to John Rooney in the area, he fired his effort into the side netting. Then great play down the right freed Jack Hindle whose low cross looked destined to be poked home, before a Fleet defender intervened and put it behind for another corner.

Rooney then had another effort which was saved by Ashmore before the home keeper made another impressive save when the Bluebirds looked sure to have taken the lead. A low ball across the six yard box was met by a Fleet defender who saw his touch deflect the ball goalwards, only a scrambling save by Ashmore saving his blushes.

Barrow were made to pay for their missed chances after 36 minutes. A throw in down the line was mis-judged by Kyle Jameson allowing Danny Kedwell in behind to slot the ball past Dixon into the far corner of the net to open the scoring.

As half time approached the Bluebirds had yet another golden opportunity in front of goal, again coming from a low cross in the penalty area. This time it was Erico Sousa who got on the end of it but he couldn’t find a way past Ashmore.

The half time whistle went with the hosts leading despite an excellent first half performance from the visitors.

Half Time: Ebbsfleet United 1-0 Barrow

The Bluebirds started the second half as they did the first and John Rooney saw his effort deflected behind for a corner, before Josh Kay went into the book for a late challenge.

The Fleet had a chance of their own after 56 minutes when Corey Whitely was afforded too much space on the edge of the area, but he again fired over the Barrow crossbar.

As the half wore on, Barrow had the home side camped into their own half and won a succession of five corners in a five minute spell, but couldn’t fashion a chance on goal before Astley Mulholland replaced the booked Josh Kay with 20 minutes to go.

Goalscorer Danny Kedwell then flashed a shot wide of Dixon’s post before he thought he had got his second goal of the game. He held Kyle Jameson off before firing home, but the referee adjudged that he had fouled the Bluebirds defender and gave the visitors a free kick.

With five minutes to go, the Bluebirds fashioned two more chances to grab a deserved equaliser but they couldn’t find the back of the net. First Erico Sousa fired over, before Luke Burgess was picked out by a fine pass at the back post, the Wigan loanee firing inches wide of the near post to cap off a frustrating afternoon for Barrow in front of goal.

As the game ticked over into the final minute Rhys Norrington-Davies made his way into the area and was brought down by a home defender. Unfortunately for Barrow the referee adjudged didn’t think he had been fouled and booked the young defender.

Five minutes of added time saw tempers flare between the teams, Nathan Ashmore being booked for the Fleet, whilst Jason Taylor and Jack Hindle went into the book for the Bluebirds.

Full Time: Ebbsfleet United 1-0 Barrow