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Cheek doubles up as Fleet sink Maidenhead United

Ebbsfleet United 3, Maidenhead United 0

Ebbsfleet United fired in three second half goals to sink Maidenhead United without trace on Tuesday night.

Hosts Fleet had gone almost six hours without scoring at Stonebridge Road but Corey Whitely's 52nd minute strike opened the floodgates and Michael Cheek netted twice more as Garry Hill's side won on home soil for the first time in two months.

It also ended a run of competitive 1-1 draws between the two sides following their promotion to the National League.

The Magpies came into the clash off the back of Saturday's hugely impressive 1-0 win over Sutton United at York Road.

But the efforts they put in protecting their goal on Saturday, having been reduced to 10 men by Mike Fondop's sending off early in the second half, seemingly took its toll for last night's trip.

The result drags the Magpies back to within six points of the relegation places after Havant & Waterlooville beat Dagenham & Redbridge 3-0 at home.

The Magpies made a number of changes for the trip to Fleet, with Ryheem Sheckleford and Nana Owusu both handed starts by manager Alan Devonshire. Striker Adrian Clifton was also recalled having been an unused substitute in the win over Sutton United.

Fleet enjoyed more of the early possession and were the first to threaten with Weston sending a shot just wide of Carl Pentney's left post in the seventh minute.

The Magpies got a glimpse of goal in the 18th minute, when Clifton's looping shot only just missed the target after Harold Odametey combined well with Sheckleford. Ayo Obileye also rose well to meet James Comley's corner in the 27th minute, but his header flew over the bar.

The sides went into half-time all square but Fleet got their noses in front just seven minutes after the restart when a miscommunication in the Magpies defence offered Whitely the chance to tuck the ball away from close range.

The Magpies ship steered into even choppier waters five minutes later when Cheek slotted under Pentney to double Fleet's lead. United's goalscorer from Saturday, Ryan Upward, had a chance to reduce the arrears with 15 minutes to play, after a good run and cross from Sam Nombe, but he couldn't quite apply the finish.

Cheek then finished the game as a contest when he exchanged passes with Gozie Ugwu and fired past Pentney for his second of the game.

Whitely gifted Odamtey a golden chance to get the Magpies on the scoresheet deep into stoppage-time but he blazed wildly over the bar to sum up a disappointing night.

Afterwards assistant boss Sam Lock tweeted: "Got what we deserved tonight. Not good enough. Missed some great opportunities to get back into the game.

"We have been on a great run!! Need to bounce back - great support as always!"

Upward also thanked the travelling fans: "Disappointing performance all round. We weren’t quite on it tonight. We go again Saturday away to Harrogate. Travelling fans you were amazing."

Maidenhead: Pentney, Clerima, Odametey, Obileye (Nombe 70mins), Comley (Worsfold 78mins), Twumasi, Sheckleford, Clifton, Upward, Owusu (Kelly 63mins), Massey. Subs not used: Alves, Akintunde.

Attendance: 811.

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