Emirates FA Cup preview: Dover Athletic v Ebbsfleet United Football Club


Cup draws have long been a source of elation, satisfaction, anticipation or frustration – some want an ‘easy’ team at home, others want a day trip to a new place. For Fleet and Dover fans, there is no easy option this weekend and there is certainly no escape day in chilly surroundings!

It hasn’t even been three weeks since Dover’s previous visit to the Kuflink Stadium in the league and now they are moving up the A2 to try and right the wrongs of this afternoon.

Standing in the way to Dover is a fleet side on a list of league wins, with Dennis Kutrieb admitting that while he would have liked to keep this run in the Vanarama National League South he needs to refocus his squad for competition in which he has always wanted to progress.

“We know Dover very, very well,” said the fleet boss. “We played them a few weeks ago, it was a different game and now it’s a different kind of competition. Everyone wants to get to the first round proper so they’re going to throw everything at us and we have to be It helps when you have a good win before, but it’s a completely new game and we have to be ready.

“In my experience, everyone is in a different mood when it comes to an FA Cup match, whether it’s a qualifying round or a real round. Everyone wants reach that first round and it’s a situation that we have to be aware of because it’s not a league game and it’s not close to the first round yet, so anything can happen. Of course I’m confident and the boys will be ready because they don’t give me any situation where I could suggest they’re not ready.

“But Dover will definitely want to do better than a few weeks ago. Anyone who was here for this game could see that there was a very high intensity. Lee Martin, for example, ran for 90 minutes and he will do the same on Saturday , like other players there as well.

There are few new developments on either side since we last met in the league. Dover lost the services of loanee Ryan Sandford to Weymouth but he didn’t feature in the previous game anyway. Fleet can choose to shuffle the squad from Tuesday night’s win over Braintree, with Ben Chapman then returning to the lineup and coming off the bench in this one.

Since their defeat here on bank holiday Monday, Dover have lost their next two league meetings, first at Eastbourne and then in midweek when they hosted Dartford. It dropped Andy Hessenthaler’s side to 19th in the league so the old adage about a welcome break for the FA Cup may certainly hold true in the case of Dover and they return to the fleet eager to get rid of the woes of recent league performances.

Young midfielder George Wilkinson has come on in recent games for Dover, who also have the option of introducing former Fleet striker Reece Grant or promising youngster Noah Carney in place of Alfie Pavey or Chike Kandi.

The winners of this tie will win £3,375 and the losers £1,125. Any replay will take place on Crabble on Tuesday night.


Our online ticket sales platform on fleetlive.club has tickets available until 12:00 p.m. on match day. We advise you pre-purchase for your and our convenience to gain admission to the grounds.

Same-day ticket sales for local supporters are available from the windows of the main reception, accepting card and cash payments. The turnstiles open at 1pm but only accept online tickets (printed Where on your device) and tickets purchased at the box office on the day of the match. There is a dedicated gate for pass holders, but they can also use their cards through other turnstile gates.


This match is split – away fans with online tickets and those paying on the day must do so via the Swanscombe End turnstiles to the left of the main entrance.

For home supporters to access the main stand bar only, enter through the turnstiles and walk along the walkway into the main stand to the door at the Swanscombe (uncovered) end. Signs show you the direction. Dennis Kutrieb does a pre-game roster review and he and other players also attend the bar after the game for the Man of the Match presentation.

Please also support our post-match live music set from Josh Hassell after the match…supporters are welcome to join us after the final whistle for this free live entertainment.

Check out our food stalls (to the left of the main turnstile entrance is our Würtsel Haus German Sausage Experience and straight ahead as you enter the ground is the Manhattan Grill for all your burgers, hot dogs and other needs !). Pop-up bars are also located near the turnstiles and near ‘Geeks Corner’ between the Plow End and the Old Stand. Our new Hofmeister popup can be found in the marquee between the main turnstiles entrance and the main stand. Food and refreshments for away supporters will be available at Swanscombe End.

Parking as usual on match days is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3. Please have the correct change if possible to assist our parking staff and again we recommend arriving early. Please note that the areas near Northfleet Station, namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road, are residents/permit parking only and invalid vehicles will be ticketed. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout on the approach to Kuflink Stadium is a designated clear lane – although this is not particularly apparent on the approach – so you are advised not to park here due to the risk to be verbalized.

If you wish to purchase your program in advance to collect it from our club shop before entering the pitch, you can do so via our webshop or when booking your matchday tickets online .

Programs are also on sale on the ground from the club shop, the pop-up bar at the turnstiles entrance, the Main Stand tea kiosk or in the Social Club behind the Plow End, priced at £3.

Pre-order programs can be picked up at the club shop before the game and before you enter the turnstiles.


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