The Coasters get their festive fixtures underway this Saturday, as the league’s form team Ebbsfleet United are welcome to Mill Farm, for the last game of 2018.

Whilst Fylde come into the fixture having had a comfortable outing last weekend in The Buildbase FA Trophy, the last league game wasn’t the same story.

Manager Dave Challinor was public in his criticism of his side after a ten man Dover Athletic scored twice late on to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Fleet had late drama of their own last time out, as Danny Kedwell struck in the 85th minute to secure a 1-0 win for Garry Hill’s rejuvenated side.

This lifted them up to 10th in the table, with playoffs now firmly in their sights.

The Opposition

Name: Ebbsfleet United


Ground: Kuflink Stadium

Position: 10th

The Fleet had a decent start to the season, with wins against Barnet, Eastleigh and Aldershot in the first month. This descended into a run of seven losses in nine games, which ultimately cost manager Daryl McMahon his job in November.

Ex-Woking Manager Garry Hill took up the mantle, and has been unbeaten in his time so far.

Wins against Halifax, Barnet and Aldershot have given The Fleet momentum heading into an important festive run.

Despite this positive upturn, the Fleet aren’t without their troubles. This year they reported an operating loss of £2m, and as such have had to restructure, with the budget cut leading to staff and players leaving the club.

Coulson, Clark and McQueen have all left since the start of Garry Hill’s tenure, all joining National League rivals.

Whilst this had made for a depleted squad, the signing of former West Ham youngster Freddy Moncur last week has gone some way to balancing that.

Head to Head

In the previous three meetings, the sides have only been separated on one occasion, with an average of four goals per game.

National League 17/18 Season

Ebbsfleet United 3 -3 AFC Fylde

AFC Fylde 1 – 1 Ebbsfleet United

National League 18/19 Season

Ebbsfleet United 1 -3 AFC Fylde

Ones To Watch

The experienced hitman Dany Kedwell has found his feet this season, as he often does, with the former Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon striker netting three in his last four league appearances. 

Whilst it may sound obvious, when Kedwell scores, Ebbsfleet are usually onto a winner. In fact, the last five times that he’s scored, The Fleet have recorded a win.

His partner Michael Cheek is also in hot form, with four in five, so the Coasters will have their hands full at the back.

At the other end, Nathan Ashmore is more than a safe pair of hands, with the reliable stopper having eight clean sheets already this season.

From The Manager’s Office

Speaking to the Coasters media team, manager Dave Challinor looked ahead to the weekend’s fixture, and a team he feels are very similar from last season.

The Officials

The man in the middle this weekend is Referee Gareth Rhodes, who will be returning for the first time since he officiated our game with Salford City back in September.

He’s averaged three yellow cards a game so far this season, having officiated just seven games.

His assistants are Elliot Heward & Mathew Scholes, whilst the Fourth Official is Paul Roots.

Other Games To Keep An Eye On

Aldershot v Wrexham will be a game worth keeping an eye on. Whilst the visitor’s finally instilled Graham Barrow as their full-time manager, Aldershot are having less stability.

They effectively forfeited their midweek FA Trophy tie to Bedford Town, after sending their academy in place of their first team – losing 7-0.

After ending their long, record-breaking run of draws with a 2-0 win against Salford City, Chesterfield now head to Leyton Orient.

Orient tasted defeat last time out, and will be keen to put it right, and keep their top spot.


There’ll be match updates from our Twitter as usual, with pre and post-match interviews, and more.