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Match Reports

Report | Ebbsfleet United 2-1 Dale

2 March 2024

Match Reports

Report | Ebbsfleet United 2-1 Dale

2 March 2024

Dale suffered a 2-1 defeat on the road at Ebbsfleet United on Saturday afternoon.

Kairo Mitchell netted his eleventh of the season, levelling up the game in the first-half following Dominic Poleon’s opener.

Substitute Dominic Samuel scored in the 92nd minute, securing three points for the Fleet and defeat on the road for Dale.

Jimmy McNulty made two changes to his starting eleven from Tuesday night’s win against Wealdstone, with Devante Rodney and Adam Clayton returning from the start.

Jesurun Uchegbulam and Finlay Armstrong returned to the Dale bench with Sam Mather also there, appearing in a Dale matchday squad for the first time since his arrival in February.

Neither side created many clear-cut openings in the first ten minutes, with both sides defending well, making crucial interceptions.

On the 15th-minute mark, Poleon picked up a loose pass from Tiernan Brooks, firing the ball into an unguarded net with the first real chance of the game for either side.

Shortly after, Poleon nearly claimed his second. George Nevett was on hand for Dale, standing strong, and blocking the forward's effort.

The game petered out from there, with both sides trying to find ways to unlock their opposition's defence.

Dale found an equaliser five minutes before the break as Jimmy Keohane’s low cross found Mitchell, who fired home from close range.

Jimmy McNulty made a change shortly after the interval, bringing on Uchegbulam in place of Rodney.

The Dale winger sprung into action straight away, taking on a number of Ebbsfleet defenders, combining with Mitchell and Keohane, before Cian Hayes saw his low effort saved.

Ryan East, Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Cameron John made a couple of great blocks for Dale, whilst Mitchell had his low effort saved at the other end.

With three minutes of the 90 left to play, John found himself in Ebbsfleet’s penalty area with the ball travelling towards him following a cross from the right. The Dale fullback met the ball but agonisingly watched his effort bounce off the top of the crossbar.

Samuel, who came off the bench for the hosts, was on hand in the dying minutes of the game to stroke the ball home from the edge of the penalty area, earning his side the three points and sending Dale home empty-handed.

Dale XI | Brooks, Gordon, John, East, Ebanks-Landell ©, Clayton, Mitchell, Rodney (52’ Uchegbulam), Keohane, Nevett (90+3’ Henderson), Hayes.

Unused subs | Sassi, Armstrong, Mather.

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