Edmans headed the Clarets in front on 73 minutes and Derry added a clincher seven minutes from the end as Holdsworth’s men arrested a slide in form to move up the league table. The triumph was particularly sweet for the travelling fans, with United’s much-fancied squad containing a number of former players, and Dean was delighted.
“I said on Saturday that we’d been playing some good stuff and got caught out, tonight we weren’t,” he explained after the match at Stonebridge Road. “It’s almost like we’re educating the players during the games because we’ve not even had 16 sessions together yet - which is what you’d get in three weeks if you were a pro.”
“We’re making the most of spells like half time to work on things and the players are learning quickly. The only pressure is what we put on ourselves. We want to get the sorts of results our performances deserve. Tonight is a fantastic result considering how much Ebbsfleet have spent to get to where they are. We’ve got a young and talented squad and there is so much for us to work with.”
The action got underway in the 8th minute as one of the ex-Clarets, Anthony Cook, fired over from 30 yards. A dipping Daryl McMahon volley was also too high on 17 minutes as Ebbsfleet were on top in an entertaining opening, then Chelmsford couldn’t quite force the ball over the line as Derry fed Edmans but a bobbled deceived him and goalkeeper Preston Edwards saved from Charlie Henry’s 26th-minute follow-up.
Tom Davis’ powerful run through the middle shortly afterwards supplied Derry, whose shot trickled wide of the left-hand post for City, and custodian Carl Pentney saved a Cook free kick at the other end as an intriguing first half drew to a close.
Eleven minutes after the break Henry was dismayed that a penalty wasn’t awarded to Chelmsford, then a low dead ball from the edge of the City area was brilliantly saved by Pentney with his foot. The Clarets were knocking on the door beyond the hour mark, Edmans heading wide while Henry shot another effort right at Edwards.
Then the crucial opener arrived through Edmans, who nodded in Henry’s pinpoint delivery after a brilliant cross-field ball by Bagasan Graham. Ebbsfleet almost levelled instantly when McMahon’s free kick from the right hit the inside of the left-hand upright but City sealed the game with an 83rd-minute second. Derry picked up a loose pass, drove through the middle, played a one-two with Graham then slid the ball into the net.
Chelmsford had to weather an Ebbsfleet storm at the climax of the fixture, but Dean reacted: “Now there’s no room for complacency. We’ll continue to try our very best to get results and develop the young players. Confidence is a huge factor - you can’t let your heads drop so tonight has been a real boost for us. You have to have faith in your philosophy.”
1 Carl Pentney
2 Ben Sampayo
3 Leon Redwood
4 Tom Davis
5 Jide Maduako
6 Danny Webb
7 Charlie Henry
8 Mark Hughes (C)
9 Rob Edmans
10 Tom Derry
11 Bagasan Graham
12 Sam Long
14 Nicky Nicolau
15 Kieron St Aimie
16 Bertie Brayley (On for Edmans, 89)
17 David Rainford (On for Davis, 81)
Ebbsfleet United: Preston Edwards, Joe Howe, Aiden Palmer, Dean Rance, Paul Lorraine (C), Shane Huke, Dominic Green (Alex Osborn, 70), Daryl McMahon, Michael Thalassitis, Billy Bricknell, Anthony Cook. Unused Substitutes: Osei Sankofa, Brandon Hall (GK), Stacy Long, Tom Phipp.
Bookings: City: Sampayo (30, foul), Hughes (67, foul). Ebbsfleet: Rance (19, foul), Huke (50, foul), Bricknell (90+3, foul).
Referee: Simon Knapp (Bristol).
Assistant Referees: Simon Shaw (Bristol) and Robert Cockle (Bristol).
City Man of the Match: Charlie Henry.