National League South Tue 6 December The Crucial Environmental Stadium
Ebbsfleet Utd
  • Poleon (20', 34')
  • O'Neill (37')
  • Chapman (45')
  • Domi (65')
  • McQueen (79')

Worthing welcomed table toppers Ebbsfleet to Woodside Road off the back of their emphatic 5-1 away win at second-placed Havant & Waterlooville at the weekend.

The Fleet ended a run of three straight defeats in all competitions on Saturday as they beat Slough Town 2-0 at home.

Adam Hinshelwood made two changes to the side that beat the Hawks last time out as Reece Meekums and Ollie Pearce returned to the Rebels’ starting eleven. Moe Shubbar dropped to the bench while Lewis White missed out with illness.

The Fleet could have taken an early lead when Ben Chapman crossed to Rakish Bingham in the second minute, but the forward’s tame effort was comfortably saved by Harrison Male in the Worthing net.

In what was a cagey opening 15 minutes or so, it was the visitors who began to take control as they pressed high and started to string slick passing moves together.

It was a slick passing move that brought the Fleet their opener on 19 minutes when a ball from the right was played into Dominic Poleon who converted in confident fashion.

Some five minutes later, Poleon provided Franklin Domi with an opportunity, but the midfielder’s effort went just wide of the upright.

Kane Wills swung in a glorious delivery from a deep free-kick soon after. Rebels captain Aarran Racine headed towards goal, forcing Mark Cousins into action for the first time on the night.

But it was the league leaders’ quality that shone when Poleon doubled his tally in the 34th minute. Bingham’s low cross found the striker who slotted past Male.

It went from bad to worse for the Rebels three minutes later when Joe Rye brought down Domi in the area. Luke O’Neill stepped up and converted from the spot to make it three.

Bingham struck the crossbar and Poleon missed a chance for his hattrick before the Rebels could create anything of note.

It was Josh Chambers’ long-range effort that forced a brilliant save from Cousins to deny a strike that was heading for the top left corner.

Before the break, Ebbsfleet made it four in clinical counter-attacking style when Chapman dribbled down the left before firing from a tight angle past Male to leave Worthing shellshocked at the interval.

Hinshelwood made two half-time changes as he looked to get a foothold in the game, replacing Meekums and Pearce with Javaun Splatt and Ibby Akanbi.

However, it was much of the same after the break. First, Poleon had another two stabs in quick succession at his hattrick. The first effort was blocked by Rye before he fired the rebound high and wide.

20 minutes into the second half, Bingham set up Domi who made it five as the midfielder fired into the bottom left corner for his first Ebbsfleet goal.

Sammie McLeod replaced James Beresford on 72 minutes for the Rebels.

But it was the Fleet substitute, Darren McQueen that hit the sixth Ebbsfleet goal as he placed his effort into the top left corner in what was a rout for the table toppers.

Bingham struck the post late on for the visitors who had outclassed Worthing on the night and exemplified why they are top of the league table.

The final whistle was blown on a night to forget for the Reds. They will look to put this one behind them as they travel to Dover on Saturday.