Telford defeat condemns Ebbsfleet to relegation
PUBLISHED: 17:44 15 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:44 15 April 2013
Ebbsfleet United's relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier was confirmed with a crushing 3-1 home defeat to bottom-of-the-table AFC Telford on Saturday (13).
Fleet’s hopes of avoiding relegation were all but ended by a defeat at Hyde the previous Tuesday but this defeat means they will be definitely be playing in the Blue Square Bet South next season after two years back in the premier.
Despite a promising opening which saw Stefan Payne give the home side the lead after 16 minutes, Ebbsfleet were 3-1 down by half-time thanks to a 17-minute hat-trick from Aaron Williams - following a goalmouth scramble and two close-range headers.
Despite Christian Smith being sent-off near the end, Telford hung on for the three points - and their first win in the league since beating Fleet’s local rivals Dartford on October 9.
Manager Liam Daish has urged the team to show pride in their last three games against Tamworth (due to be played on Tuesday night), Luton tonight (18) and Gateshead on Saturday (20).
The match began with a fan protest against owners MyFootballClub. Turn to pages 12-13 in this week’s Gravesend Reporter for a feature on Ebbsfleet’s problems, out on Thursday.