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Match Previews


18 April 2013

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Interesting facts and important information for final home game

The Town are back in action tonight when they host Ebbsfleet United at Kenilworth Road, in the Hatters’ final home match of the season.

Who? Ebbsfleet United. Or, in old money, Gravesend and Northfleet. The club changed their name in 2007 to coincide with the opening of the new Ebbsfleet International Eurostar station and are in the midst of their second successive season at this level following promotion in 2010/11.

Third time lucky The Town and the Fleet try for the third time tonight. The original game, scheduled for 29th December, was called off 20 minutes before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch, before the rearranged game also fell foul of the weather on Tuesday 26th March, days after the Hatters had taken on Tamworth in blizzard-like conditions at Kenilworth Road. Let’s hope there’s no freak weather forecast for tonight.

Hello Mr Chairman You can become a member of the Ebbsfleet board if it’s something that tickles your fancy. Since February 2008 the club has been owned by, whose members vote on player transfers, budgets and ticket prices, among other things, instead of those decisions being made exclusively by the club's management and staff, like at most other clubs. Unfortunately the option to pick the team is no longer available, so you can put the phone down if you’re in the middle of asking to them to select their striker in goal.

Haven’t we met before? Oh yes. The Town have the upper hand when it comes to meetings with the Fleet, winning three of the five clashes – including the 3-1 victory at Stonebridge Road back in August. Ebbsfleet have won at Kenilworth Road before, however, recording a shock 3-2 victory back in January 2010 that left then manager Richard Money speechless. That was soon forgotten when the Town triumphed 6-1 at Stonebridge Road in the return match two months later. The Hatters were also victorious when Ebbsfleet last stepped foot inside Kenilworth Road back in April when two goals from Stuart Fleetwood and one from Craig McAllister sealed a 3-0 win.

Town trialists At a first glance it would seem there are no players in the Ebbsfleet squad with a connection to Kenilworth Road – until the press officer delves deep into his memory bank of previous pre-seasons. Three current Fleet players have trialled with the Hatters. Goalkeeper Preston Edwards even won a winners medal in the South West Challenge Cup in 2009. Midfielder Neil Barrett and striker Nathan Elder, meanwhile, featured for the Hatters in pre-season last season with Elder notching in the home friendly against Azerbaijani outfit Gabala.

Trophy Tales Among the silverware at Stonebridge Road is their pride and joy; the FA Trophy. The Fleet triumphed 1-0 at Wembley in 2008 over Torquay United. But it’s the Kent Senior Cup that dominates their trophy cabinet. The Fleet have won the competition seven times.

How they doing? The term “playing for pride” comes to mind for the Fleet. Their relegation to the Blue Square Bet South was confirmed following a 3-1 home defeat to all-ready relegated AFC Telford a week ago. Tonight’s visitors can only finish in 23rd place as they are seven points behind Barrow and four points above bottom-placed AFC Telford.

They think it’s all over Thursday’s game is the Hatters final game of the season at Kenilworth Road but it won’t be the last of the campaign overall. The Town head to Southport for the last game and remember it’s a 5.15pm kick-off at Haig Avenue.

Home sweet home? The Town have only tasted victory six times in the last 20 years in their final home game of the regular season (not including Play-Offs). Interestingly though, enough four of those six wins have been courtesy of a 3-2 scoreline. The Hatters beat Kidderminster last season in their last home league fixture – the first time since a 4-2 win over Brentford in the League 1 title season of 2004/05. The Town’s record in the last 20 seasons reads six wins, 10 draws and four defeats. Interesting, eh?

Just the ticket Remember you can take advantage of two great offers by watching the Hatters tonight. Under-17s can go free when accompanied by a full-paying adult, senior or golden senior, whilst season ticket holders can bring a guest for half-price. Click here for the full details.

Talking of tickets Season ticket holders must use special cup voucher A to gain entry through the turnstiles, whilst supporters who had tickets for the postponed fixtures can use their stub from these matches (29th December and 26th March).

Team news Town boss John Still hinted he may make changes to a team that plays its third game in seven days. 

Talk of the Town Remember our official matchday programme won a coveted award recently and it’ll be on sale for the last time this season for £3 from the usual locations tonight. Crammed with the latest from the manager, captain, the boardroom and much more, including some never-before-seen photographs and memorabilia from the Hatters’ history. 

Still says: “I was going to make a change and I will make a change, but it was whether I made the change against Newport or Thursday.

“I just felt that we had really entertained people on Friday and I felt we entertained them again. I left it as it was, but there will be a change or two on Thursday.”

Live and direct We’ll have all the news as it happens from Kenilworth Road. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook and Twitter feeds #COYH

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