Ebbsfleet United 1 Torquay United 0: McPhee eyes move after final touch for Ebbsfleet

Click to follow
The Independent Online

While Ebbsfleet United are now owned by shareholders sourced through the internet and have a sponsor who can whisk them away to France at a moment's notice, the man who scored their winner on Saturday is altogether less exotic.

Born in Sussex 25 years ago in a pre-internet and pre-Eurostar age, Chris McPhee has just completed his first season in non-league football and secured Ebbsfleet – or Gravesend & Northfleet as they were – their first FA Trophy at Wembley on Saturday.

The myfootball.com website was set up with the intention of taking over a club – Gravesend were eventually targeted – with shareholders recruited via the internet. They were renamed Ebbsfleet last summer. Eurostar are their shirt sponsor, reportedly to the tune of some £200,000, with Ebbsfleet the last stop before the cross-Channel train leaves England.

McPhee might have preferred to jump in the Channel rather than cross it, having seen a penalty saved five minutes before half-time by Martin Rice. He made amends five minutes later when John Akinde found him eight yards out.

It rounded off a miserable week for Torquay – they also lost to Exeter in the Blue Square Premier play-off semi-finals on Bank Holiday Monday. To rub it in, McPhee spent a year at Plainmoor before being released a year ago.

But it is not all glee for Ebbsfleet as McPhee could be on the move this summer. "I'm speaking to the manager [Liam Daish] in the coming weeks," he said. "My contract expires today [Saturday] and I'll be discussing the situation.

"I'd like to get back in the Football League and prove a few points. I can always say, wherever I am, that I scored at Wembley."

Goal: McPhee (45).

Ebbsfleet United (4-4-2): Cronin; Hawkins, Smith, McCarthy, Opinel; McPhee, Barrett, Bostwick, Long (MacDonald, 84); McPhee, Moore. Substitutes not used: Mott (gk), Eribenne, Ricketts, Purcell.

Torquay United (4-4-2): Rice; Mansell, Todd, Woods, Nicholson; D'Sane (Benyon, 66), Adams, Hargreaves, Zebroski; Sills (Hill, 89), Phillips (Stevens, h/t). Substitutes not used: Robertson (gk), Hockley.

Referee: M Atkinson (Yorkshire).

Booked: Ebbsfleet Smith, McCarthy, Moore; Torquay Rice.

Man of the match: McPhee.

Attendance: 40,186

Comments