Monday, May 9, 2011

Play-off heaven

On Sunday I went to Ebbsfleet United V Chelmsford City in the second leg of the Blue Square South Semifinal play-offs. The reason I was there was that I am planning to do some work with the club for a DVD for work. I have to admit I've at times been pessimistic and skeptical about the Internet ownership at Ebbsfleet, but I thought that it was as interesting subject to cover for work. After Sunday I have to say that I have a lot of respect for what they are trying to do and can't thank them enough for how helpful and open they are being. They got through to the play-off final and I really hope they can go one better at Farnborough in the final next week. I was given a lift by one of the members from Cambridge and was able to spend plenty of time getting an insight into the club and the role of My FC.

Going into the match Ebbsfleet must have been feeling confident after winning 4-1 away at Chelmsford in the first leg. In the Non-league Paper though the Chelmsford manager was pretty upbeat though, as the Clarets had managed to beat the Fleet 3-1 at their place a few weeks ago and seemed to be in bullish mood. I don't know whether the Chelmsford fans shared his optimism though, as they had cancelled to of their coaches going to the game and the attendance of a slightly disappointing 1,556 probably illustrated that most fans saw it as a dead rubber.

Any confidence that Chelmsford had going into the game must have soon evaporated as they struggled to get into the Fleet's half and Callum Willock and Ranbir Marwa looked set to punish the Chelmsford defence. It was Michael West who put the Fleet ahead though on 27 minutes and then on 34 minutes he scored an amazing freekick to put Ebbsfleet 2-0 up and the tie, if there was any, completely beyond doubt. The Fleet hadn't had enough though and Marwa and Willock continued to punish the Chelmsford defenc up until the break.

The second half was a lot quieter and Ebbsfleet knew they were edging close to the final. Chelmsford did manage a concillatory goal, which led to the singing of 'Shall we celebrate for you?' Ebbsfleet still looked the more likely to add to their tally although Marwa and Willock were later substituted probably to keep them ready for next Sunday. Meanwhile Giannoulis Fakinos, a Business student from Greece who has played for Panathinaikos lived up to his club nickname of Cesc.

A thoroughly enjoyable day out with a great bunch of people, a great team and a great club. Manager Liam Daish is used to having to rebuild the squad every year due to budget constraints, but hopefully he will be able to keep this club together and they can bounce back to non-league's summit after last year's relegation. They deserve to bounce back.

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