Super Fleet turn the table
PUBLISHED: 14:08 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:17 23 August 2010
EBBSFLEET United turned the Blue Square Premier table on its head on Tuesday when they sent second-placed Stevenage Borough packing from Stonebridge Road empty-handed, writes Charles Webster. Two goals early in the second half from Stefan Bailey sealed v
EBBSFLEET United turned the Blue Square Premier table on its head on Tuesday when they sent second-placed Stevenage Borough packing from Stonebridge Road empty-handed, writes Charles Webster.
Two goals early in the second half from Stefan Bailey sealed victory after the Fleet had gone behind to Yemi Odubade's opener in the 21st minute.
"I don't think we performed in the first half," reflected Fleet boss Liam Daish. "We didn't believe in ourselves enough. We wanted the lads to go on the front foot; be bold, brave, win the ball further up the pitch and put them under pressure.
"You find out how good the players are that you are playing against when you get among them."
Odubade's strike came from a shot that took a wicked deflection off Gavin Heeroo.
"We knew it was a spawny goal, but we didn't do enough in the first half to go in front. We left ourselves open to a bit of bad luck, a bad decision or human error," Daish admitted. "But, if you take the game by the horns, you have your destiny in your own hands.
"That's what we did in the second half. Young Stav (Alexander Stavrinou) makes the right decisions at the right times.
"He showed composure when other people around him were losing their heads.
"Near the end, he got hold of the ball and killed about three minutes, which showed calmness and maturity for such a young lad."
Daish is not daunted by the prospect of visiting league leaders Oxford United on Saturday or the long-term challenges ahead.
"We've just got to concentrate on what we're doing, believe in what we're doing and ourselves," he said.
"If we get to January and bring a few players in to help, we can see a bit of hope coming back."
The 41-year-old added: "It was good to hear the fans tonight. They have stuck with us and will have to keep sticking with us as we have a long way to go."
Daish thinks he can identify one of the crucial factors in the Fleet's sudden improvement in form.
"Paul McCarthy and I are both Irish, but we haven't had the luck of the Irish lately," he conceded.
"Macca comes in with trinkets and lucky charms, but he puts it all down to the lucky stone in his pocket."
Ebbsfleet United: Cronin 6, Charles 7, Shakes 7, Vieira 7 (Wills 90), Bailey 7, Holmes 8, Heeroo 7, Crooks 7, Smith 7, West 6 (Welsh 45, 6), Stavrinou 7. Subs not used: Ginty, Lamprell, Pooley. Att: 836.