FC Halifax Town will host an Ebbsfleet side “down to the bare bones” on Saturday, according to Steve Tervet, who covers the club for the KM Media Group.
Ebbsfleet are 10th in the National League, with 52 points, having won 14, drawn 10 and lost 12 league matches this season.
Garry Hill’s side have only won once in their last six matches, only scoring in that win at Harrogate. Before then, they had won four out of their previous five.
“They are low on confidence but struggling to create chances,” says Tervet. “They’ve only had 12 senior players for each of the last two games so it’s hardly surprising they’ve looked leggy.
“They were excellent either side of Christmas, scoring plenty of goals with Garry Hill rotating his strikers to good effect.
“They blew a 3-0 lead in a crazy game at Chesterfield which ended with the home fans running on to confront goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore.
“The highlight was a 2-0 win in front of more than 3,000 at Stonebridge Road but since then they’ve rather hit the buffers, bar a 2-1 win at Harrogate.
“Off the pitch the players issued a joint statement at the start of February confirming more late wage payments as well as issues surrounding pension payments and medical insurance.”
Tervet says The Fleet don’t muck around at the back, get the ball forward quickly and play in the opposition’s half.
“They’ll have a strong 11 on paper, giving everything for the manager even if performance levels are down, but virtually no experience on the bench. To say Hill’s down to the bare bones is an understatement.”
Tervet says their lack of goals is a big issue.
“Definitely. Danny Kedwell’s not scored this year and Michael Cheek’s dried up too. Hill admits they need more goals from midfield to take the pressure off the strikers.”
Tervet says left-winger Bagsan Graham is one to watch out for on Saturday.
“He is rapid down the left wing. They really missed him when he served a three-match ban.”
Ebbsfleet’s absentees on Saturday are expcted to include club captain and centre-half Dave Winfield, who is close to coming back from a knee injury, striker Cody McDonald, who is out for the season with a knee injury, and suspended midfielders Andy Drury and Dean Rance and left-back Chris Bush.
Likely line-up and formation - 4-4-2: Nathan Ashmore; Lawrie Wilson, Sam Magri, Jack King, Myles Weston; Corey Whitely, Ebou Adams, Jack Payne, Bagasan Graham; Danny Kedwell, Michael Cheek.