Sneak peek: should we forget an old acquaintance – Ebbsfleet United Football Club

It’s been 365 days since Fleet and Dartford faced off, but 1,827 since club fans had to do the same – under these circumstances any derby match would be eagerly awaited. But add the respective positions of the two teams in the division and the potential that the two could end up in in the promotions shuffle in May and this game has an even greater resonance.

Ben Chapman in action a year ago at Princes Park.

Of course, in terms of point weighting and the payoff for a win, it’s exactly the same as any of the other 39 league games this season – but try to tell anyone involved that it is. “Just another game” and you’ll likely be bypassed.

Fleet’s previous selection ahead of Tuesday’s goalless home draw against Billericay has all but been chosen, with Dennis Kutrieb having 16 players available, but he expects the situation to improve by now the Sunday derby.

“We can recover and prepare and at least we’ve had five more days and we should look better during those five days,” he said. “We only had one day in training and we had to go back [against Billericay]. Now we have five more days, but as always I am positive. I’m looking forward to the Dartford game because it’s a big game with a lot of fans, it’s a big derby. It’s a big game for everyone, for us, for Dartford and the fans, so let’s go.

And Fleet midfielder Jack Paxman spoke for the local players when he told Kent Online: “This will be my first Ebbsfleet-Dartford derby with fans. I’ve played in a few other Kent derbies and these are always really great occasions. This one in particular, I can’t wait for both teams to be at the top of the table looking for promotion.

“It’s a top match, a local derby and I think everyone was disappointed that we couldn’t play Boxing Day, everyone was up for it. It’s huge for the fans, it’s huge for the players. Every game is, but this one is a little different, there is more behind and we will be looking forward to it.

Fleet’s casualty list in recent weeks has included Alex Finney, Joe Martin, Lee Martin and Kieran Monlouis, most of whom are set to return to action in the short term. A definitively returning face for Sunday is Tobi Adebayo-Rowling who completed the three-game suspension for his red card at Oxford City.

In one of the tightest title races the National League South has seen in some time, as we approach the halfway point, there are eight clubs just two or fewer wins away from first place and several. others who could imagine their chances of being in the mix.

It’s a huge change from the start of the season when visitors from Dartford threatened to run away at the top of the table, winning seven of their first eight games. However, an FA Cup stumble against AFC Sudbury has only seen Dartford win two of their nine league games since, but our opponents – like us – remain very much in contention for automatic promotion and play-offs.

Manager Steve King admitted he could bring in some new faces to keep Dartford running and one of them has already walked through the door in time for the derby match is former Torquay winger Kalvin Kalala, who made his debut as Dartford fought to draw Braintree 2-2 earlier this week.

While Fleet has dominated Dartford by eight goals this season, the Darts have no shortage of attacking players. Kalala is joined by fellow players Luke Wanadio, Danny Leonard as well as more advanced forwards in the form of Jake Robinson, Dan Roberts and top scorer Ade Azeez. And in the middle a lot of it is driven by Kieran Murtagh and Noor Husin.

Skipper Tom Bonner is, of course, a former Fleet player and he’s joined by Fleet’s Elliott Romain to potentially line up against his former team… but that’s all about the former players for this one. this.

Despite Fleet having scored more, Dartford has conceded less – his 17 goals against the division’s best this season. How either of those stats hold up in the afternoon will say a lot about the Darts’ ability to secure a first league win at Stonebridge Road since a slim 1-0 win in 1979 or so. Fleet will maintain their remarkable home record.

1970s action against Dartford

SMALL CHARACTER DAY —————————->

PLEASE ARRIVE TT AND PURCHASE A TICKET IN ADVANCE IF POSSIBLE
Online sales and day ticket sales are explained below. You can buy tickets on the ground from 10 a.m. on the same day and our counters will be open for sales on the day. No cash or ticket transaction will be taken at the turnstiles.

There is no segregation in place, so both fan groups are free to use the turnstiles at Stonebridge Road or Swanscombe End. The Social Club Bar behind the Plow End and our outdoor Can Bar are open for refreshments, as well as hamburger vans and kiosks.

SOLD ONLINE
Our online ticket sales platform on Fleetlive.club has tickets available until noon on match day. Again, we advise you to pre-purchase for your and our convenience in obtaining ground admission. Online ticket sales for today’s game cease at noon.

Same-day ticket sales will, however, remain available at the main reception counters from 1 p.m., accepting card and cash payments. Turnstiles open at 1 p.m., but remember that they will only accept online tickets (printed Where on your device) and tickets purchased at ticket offices on match day. The subscription desk will continue to accept your subscription cards as usual.

Tickets can also be purchased before the match at local pubs The Edinburgh Castle and The Rose.

CAR PARK
As usual on match day parking is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £ 3. Please have the correct change if possible to assist our parking staff and again we recommend an early arrival. Please note that the areas near Northfleet Station namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road have recently become Resident / Permit parking and invalid vehicles will be fined. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout as you approach Kuflink Stadium is a designated expressway – although this is not particularly noticeable on the approach – so parking here is not recommended due to the risk of a traffic ticket.

MATCH SCHEDULES
If you would like to purchase your program in advance to collect it in our club shop before entering the pitch, you can do so either through our online shop or when booking your match tickets online.

The programs are also on sale on the ground in the club shop, the tea kiosk at the main stand or in the social club behind the Plow End, priced at £ 3. Advance ordering programs will be available in the club shop before the game and before entering the turnstiles.

COVID REGULATION
Please review this update regarding wearing face coverings and other currently recommended advice on Covid-19 and football at our level.


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