11:00AM, Friday 10 March 2017
Photo: Nigel Keene
This time last season Ebbsfleet United were in the process of throwing away a big lead to allow Sutton United to nip above them to take the title.
For many weeks now it’s looked like the Fleet might do the same to Alan Devonshire’s Magpies, who at one stage this season held a 10-point lead at the top of the National League South.
But, despite Fleet having been on a phenomenal run of nine wins from 10 matches, they haven’t been able to move clear of Maidenhead who moved back to the top of the table with Monday’s 1-0 win at Chelmsford City.
The Magpies are also the only team in the league this season to have beaten both Ebbsfleet and Chelmsford City on their own grounds.
It means that Fleet must be feeling the pressure just as acutely as the Magpies as the season moves into its final straight.
“They’ve won nine out of 10 and drawn the other and they’re still behind us,” said Devonshire.
“So I’m pleased with that going into the last 10 games of the season. At the end of the day all we can do is worry about ourselves.
"Ebbsfleet have only lost one game at home all season, that was against us, and Chelmsford have only lost one game at home, that was against us.
"We’re the only team to beat those two teams so that’s pleasing.”
But Devonshire anticipates a tough run, whoever the Magpies are playing.
“They all are [tough],” he said.
“You don’t get any gimmes in this league, so yeah it’s going to be tough. But I’d rather be where we are than down the bottom.
"We’ve got 71 points now. We probably need a couple more wins just to cement a play-off place at least. But we know what we’re going for so.”
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