Two late Ebbsfleet United goals saw the U’s pegged back to a 2-2 draw after a first half brace from George Maris, in what was a highly productive evening for Cambridge United at the Kuflink Stadium.
The U’s struck the post inside ten minutes when Emmanuel Osadebe’s deep cross was perfectly placed into the path of Jabo Ibehre, who cracked a header against the outside of the woodwork.
Ebbsfleet moved the ball and United around well through the middle period of the first half, and caused the U’s particular problems down the wings with blistering pace on either side.
However, Dimi Mitov was only called into action once during the opening 45 minutes, doing very well to stretch low to his left and push Coulson’s fiercely drilled effort round the post.
The U’s eventually broke the deadlock on 40 minutes, after a superb solo run from Osadebe and clever interlinking play between Lambe and Maris opened up the Fleet defence for the latter to place the ball past Ashmore when one-on-one.
And quick as a flash United and Maris made it two, with Osadebe again showing good creativity to flick a pass over for the midfielder to out-muscle Ebbsfleet’s defence and drill in his brace two minutes after his first effort.
Barry Corr replaced Osadebe at the break, as the U’s changed shape to four across midfield and two strikers. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession throughout, as Joe Dunne’s men put into practice their defensive shape and crafted a number of counter attacks.
The U’s young back four stayed solid and restricted Ebbsfleet to shots from range, and when the odd effort did make its way goalwards, Mitov produced two excellent saves to keep the U’s clean sheet intact.
However, United’s determination was eventually broken when substitute Danny Kedwell ran across the front post to pull a goal back on 87 minutes, before Myles Weston caught the U’s out late on to equalise for the Fleet.
Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, Magri, Winfield, Powell, Adams (Whiteley, 45 min), Weston, McQueen (Shields, 70 mins), Coulson (Kedwell, 60 mins), Bush, Graham, Wilson
Cambridge United: Mitov, John, Squire, Darling, Norville-Williams, Maris, Deegan, Lambe, Dunk, Osadebe (Corr, 45 mins), Ibehre