Tonight’s game saw my second ever visit to the home of Corinthian FC, to see the home side, of the Isthmian League, South East Division, play against Ebbsfleet United of the National League South.
Corinthian FC enjoyed a positive start to life in the Isthmian league in their first season there in 2021-22, finishing in a highly respectable eighth place. Michael Golding, their talented manager has kept the core of the side he brought up from the Southern Counties East Football League in 2020-21, adding some new faces this summer as he looks to see if his side can secure another promotion.
Gay Dawn Farm benefits from a sloping grass pitch, large clubhouse and bar behind the ground, as well as a Grandstand and another covered seating area behind the goal, providing, in total, about 150 seats. Refreshments were available in the clubhouse, which meant leaving the ground, although toilet facilities were available inside the ground. Reconditioned bus shelters have been used for covered standing.
Ebbsfleet, who are currently announcing plans to relocate to a new 8000 capacity stadium, are much fancied to be in the running for promotion to the National League this season. They are managed by Dennis Kutrieb and will be looking forward to the coming season, as they narrowly lost out in the promotion play off in 2021-22, in extra time, to Dorking Wanderers, so will be hopeful of securing a promotion place this year.
Within two minutes of the kick off, the referee was in action, issuing an instant red card to Elliot Romain for an arm he threw towards a Corinthian player’s face, as they battled for the ball.
In the 29th minute, a Sterling-James free kick from the left was dropped by the Corinthian FC’s young keeper and the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line, as Shaq Coulthirst attempted to bundle it over, to give a 0-1 lead to the ten men of Ebbsfleet United.
From there on in, it was Ebbsfleet who applied most of the pressure, however the Corinthian defence stayed firm.
Just on the stroke of half time, totally against the run of play, Corinthian FC won a corner. Number 6, Joe Tyrie, rose to head home neatly, pulling the scores level.
At half time the sides went in with the scores remaining tied, at 1-1.
The second half saw Corinthian come back more and more into the game, as the tiredness of playing with ten men for much of the 90 minutes caught up with the Ebbsfleet players.
The second half saw some fierce midfield battles and some tackles that left the crowd wincing! There were chances at both ends, but both keepers made good saves to ensure that at full time the teams remained locked together at 1-1.
Both sides knew they had given everything in tonight’s match, however Corinthian would have left the more positive, having come back from a goal down to level the match, against a side two leagues above them.