2017-18 English National League, Regular Season
  • Dean Rance (17')

Matthew Bates suffers defeat on return to Hartlepool dugout

Matthew Bates' interim spell in charge of Hartlepool got off to a losing start as Ebbsfleet claimed a 1-0 win which did not do their dominance justice.
The visitors started on the front foot and could have had the game won in the opening seven minutes.
Corey Whitely saw a shot rebound off a post in the first minute, Pools goalkeeper Scott Loach tipped a Luke Coulson effort over the crossbar and the same player should have done better when defender Louis Laing slipped.
It was no surprise when Ebsfleet took the lead in the 16th minute, Dean Rance heading home a Coulson cross at the far post.
Whitely went close again, while at the other end midfielder Michael Woods blazed over from 10 yards with the goal gaping.
Hartlepool started the second half brightly, with Jake Cassidy seeing a shot blocked and Devante Rodney firing over when well placed.
Conor Newton's glancing header was saved by Fleet goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore, while visiting striker Danny Kedwell saw a goal ruled out for offside late on.

English National League Standings