Ebbsfleet United V Wrexham
FA Trophy quarter final replay
Dean Saunders chose his strongest line up as Wrexham attempted to advance to the semi final of the FA Trophy.
Ebbsfleet started the better of the two teams, closing Wrexham down and denying Fleming and Crofts space. Ebbsfleet had a half chance after seven minutes, Soles shot from ten yards not worrying Ward in the Wrexham goal. Martin was given the first yellow card of the match on seventeen minutes after a foul on Andy Fleming, the resulting free kick being wasted. Wrexham were then lucky not to concede a penalty after twenty five minutes when Fleming appeared to handle the ball on the edge of the six yard box. Again the referee was making some dubious decisions and there was shouts of "you don't know what you're doing" from the home fans. The rest of the half was littered by stop starts from the referee, the only action being a Jon Brown free kick from twenty yards which was wide of the target.
Ebbsfleet Had the first chance of the second half, Martins shot going harmlessly wide. Then on 51 minutes an awful mistake by Opinal was punished by Louis. The French defender played the ball across his own area straight to a grateful Louis who gave Cronin no chance in the Ebbsfleet goal. Immediately Morris had a half chance for Ebbsfleet but again it came to nothing. Disastrously on fifty seven minutes while Wrexham were trying to make a substitution, the referee waved play on and Gash got in behind Westwood, the ball fell to Sole who beat Ward to make it one apiece. On sixty minutes the referee then awarded a penalty to Ebbsfleet when Crofts brought down Gash. Amazingly the referee only flashed a yellow card, Croft clearly denying the attacker a goal scoring opportunity. Morris' poorly taken penalty was saved by Ward in the Wrexham goal. Ebbsfleet continued to press and on sixty four minutes Williamson cleared another effort off the line.
Wrexham were having to weather the storm now as Ebbsfleet tried to press forward for a second goal. Wrexham were again lucky when the ball was cleared off the line twice after a Ward mistake. Ebbsfleet were now coming forward in waves and Wrexham were having to hold on. Finally Ebbsleet got their reward, when Ward was beaten by a superb Luke Moore effort from twenty five yards. With eleven minutes left Fleming and Flynn were replaced by McCluskey and Suffo as Wrexham tried to save the match. Ebbsfleet deservedly made it three after eighty two minutes when a long range effort from Martin went through Wards hands and into the net.
Ward saved in injury time to spare Wrexham any further embarrassment.
Ebbsfleet comfortable winners against Wrexham's full strength team who on this display will struggle to get into the playoffs never mind win them.