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Spencer Day hails Boro battlers despite another defeat

Spencer Day says his relegation-threatened side will escape the drop if they show a repeat performance of Tuesday night's visit of Ebbsfleet

Positive Spencer Day moved to allay any relegation fears among his Farnborough sceptics, insisting: “Play like that and we’ll be fine.”

A run of just one win from the past 12 matches has seen Day’s side fall to within three points of the Skrill South relegation zone – and having played three games more than teams around them.

But the Boro boss was buoyed by an encouraging display at home to high-fliers Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night – even though Billy Bricknell’s 73rd-minute strike saw them end up empty-handed.

“We deserved at least a draw out there,” a frustrated Day said afterwards.

“First half, we’ve hung in there and battled hard in difficult conditions, there was nothing in it, but in the second half I thought we were the better side – only by a little bit – but it’s just not going for us.

"We’ve had sniffs and one quality moment has won the game for them.

“We threw the kitchen sink at them in the end there, but I said to the guys if they continue to work as hard as that then we’ll be alright.

"I thought we were tremendous but when it's not going for you, it’s not going for you.”

Ebbsfleet’s last visit to Cherrywood Road was in May 2011 when a crowd of more than 4,200 watched the Kent side claim a 4-2 victory in the Conference South play-off final to secure their place in non-league's top flight.

In contrast, only 219 braved the cold and wet conditions to watch this latest instalment, but some things never change and it was the chief protagonist that day, Michael West, who fashioned the first real chance of the night, somehow heading wide of target with the goal gaping from eight yards out.

Typically, former Farnborough favourite Daryl McMahon was pulling the strings on his return to Cherrywood Road, but Boro, playing a new formation with three at the back, coped well with everything thrown at them and once McMahon and Dean Rance picked up bookings, the home side began to exert some attacking intent of their own.

Phil Page shot wide from the edge of the box following a good move, while Josh Huggins headed Dan Bennett’s corner inches over.

But unlike Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Staines, Boro continued in the ascendency after the break without ever finding that moment of magic or rub of the green needed to make a breakthrough.

Dan Bennett came closest to breaking the deadlock but completely mis-kicked Tyrone Berry’s centre only for his rebound effort to be deflected gratefully into the path of former England C keeper Preston Edwards.

But just when Farnborough looked like getting a foothold in the game, Ebbsfleet struck.

Anthony Cook’s centre from the left was only half-cleared by Alan Inns to Billy Bricknell, who swept home into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Despite being without the midfield guile of Scott Donnelly, who moved to Havant & Waterlooville last week, Boro piled forward in search of an equaliser – Moses Ashikodi seeing a shot deflected wide while Bennett inexplicably missed a free header six yards out from Oli Treacher’s free kick with the goal at his mercy.

Boro hit the road again on Saturday (January 18) – albeit the short trip to Kingfield in Woking – when they take on Hayes & Yeading before they then travel south on Monday night to play Havant & Waterlooville in the quarter final of the Hampshire Cup.

BORO (v Ebbsfleet): Lincoln; Huggins, Treacher, Bosch, Inns, Doyle (Siaw 85), Bennett, James-Lewis (Jeffrey 77), Page, Ashikodi (Hammond 77), Berry. Subs: Fearn, Scriven.

 

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