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Dartford 1-0 Ebbsfleet
EBBSFLEET were left to rue another missed spot-kick as Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty sent Dartford into the next round of the FA Cup.
Daryl McMahon went closest for Fleet in the first period but fans had to wait till the 53rd minute for Bradbrook to break the deadlock from the spot.
The Fleet had a penalty of their own in the 69th minute but Anthony Cook failed to draw the away side level, missing from the spot just as Ben May did in the original tie.
Dartford’s win means they now face Salisbury City away in the next round of the cup on the November 9.
Both teams had chances early on with Fleet’s Billy Bricknell firing just wide before Dartford’s Ryan Hayes saw a deflected free-kick float over.
Despite the fast pace of the game, neither team could create a clear opportunity to test the opposing keeper.
It was Dartford, though, who enjoyed most of the early possession.
They threatened to the take in lead in the 17th minute as a Lee Noble cross caused trouble in the visiting box but there was nobody there to apply a finishing touch. Noble was then presented with an opportunity of his own but fired a volley out of the ground from just inside the box. Dartford began to control the game and a 60-yard run and shot from captain Bradbrook offered the first real test for Fleet keeper Preston Edwards.
Edwards wasn’t the only keeper in action though and Dartford’s Alan Julian produced a fine save to tip McMahon’s fierce drive just over the bar.
The Fleet soon grew into the game and good work down the left from Cook was causing trouble for the Dartford defence.
Steve Brown’s side went closest to opening the scoring in the 33rd minute as McMahon’s free-kick crashed off the outside of the post.
The away side were looking to make their dominance count and appealed for a penalty in the 42nd minute after McMahon’s shot looked to have rebounded off an arm but it wasn’t given.
Bradbrook headed over from six yards just before half-time and both sides went off level at the break.
The home side came out the stronger in the second half and took the lead from the penalty spot eight minutes after the restart.
Alex Osborn was judged to have tripped Noble in the box and Bradbrook confidently finished the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.
Ebbsfleet reacted well after the setback and McMahon continued to search for a goal from long range with another effort flying wide on 66 minutes.
The away side then had a penalty of their own after Dean Rance was felled in the box by Danny Harris.
Cook replaced Ben May, who missed from the spot in the original tie, as the penalty taker but his effort was well saved but Julian.
May reacted quickest to the rebound but his shot was well blocked and flew over the bar.
Another Ebbsfleet penalty appeal was turned down with ten minutes left as Cook went down under a last-ditch challenge.
Fleet were failing to find a way through the home side’s defence but were handed a lifeline in the last minute as they were awarded a free-kick just outside the area.
Cook’s effort beat the wall but home fans were happy to see his attempt sail just wide of the goal with the last kick of the game to send Dartford into the next round of the cup.
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Dartford: Julian, Hayes, Noble, Bradbrook, Harris, Mitchel-King, Collier, Ibemere (Akinwande 84), Fry, Burns, Woodyard. Subs not used: Forecast, Hill, Cornhill, Porter, Monger, Eisa.
Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Sessegnon, Palmer, McMahon, Loraine, Sankofa, Osborn (Thalasittis 61), Rance (Phipp 74), May, Bricknell, Cook. Subs not used: Hall, Corcoran, Long, Basey, Green. Att: 1,901.
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