A late winner sent Harrogate Town down to ninth in the National League Table despite a second half strike from Jack Muldoon.
Goals in the fifth and 87th minute of the game meant Ebbsfleet left The CNG Stadium with all three points after a valiant performance.
Simon Weaver made one change from the side that brought three points back from the long away trip to Dover, Callum Howe picked ahead of Jack Senior.
Town were looking for their third straight win in the league, while Ebbsfleet were looking to bounce back from two consecutive 1-0 defeats to difficult opposition in the form of Sutton United and Solihull Moors.
The Fleet took the lead through Michael Cheek. The visiting Captain Andy Drury whipped in a threatening corner which was attacked by Cheek who guided it into the back of the net; his 10th goal of the campaign.
After a stoppage in play due to an injury to referee Christopher Pollard, Ebbsfleet continued to the look the more threatening of the two sides with Town looking like they were struggling to get a foothold in the game.
In the 18th minute Jack Payne very nearly doubled the lead for the visiting side, having a go from 25 yards out with a lovely strike that glided just wide of the upright.
Two minutes later Ebbsfleet will have been wondering how they hadn’t doubled their lead, from another corner they continued to cause problems for the home side and struck the post twice in a goalmouth scramble which was eventually cleared by Josh Falkingham.
Harrogate had a reply to what to seemed to becoming Ebbsfleet’s afternoon, Muldoon attacked down the left had side and picked out Jack Emmett in the middle who gets a venomous strike on goal which was saved brilliantly by Fleet stopper Nathan Ashmore.
Just like Ebbsfleet, Town were now starting to rue there missed chances. In the resulting corner George Thomson picked out Warren Burrell in the middle but he couldn’t keep his effort under the bar.
As the half went Town continued to grow into the game and looked the livelier of the two sides with Emmett looking like a significant influence in the ongoing fightback into the game.
Emmett’s hard work very nearly payed off in the 35th minute after he won a corner. The resulting corner was whipped in yet again by Thomson who picked out Liam Kitching, but his effort was hooked off the goal line by Drury.
Just as the board went up for added time at the end of the first half, Ebbsfleet could’ve doubled their lead. Corey Whitey struck one from the edge of the box but was saved by Belshaw who turned the effort over the bar.
Town had a perfect response in the 50th minute. After some good break away play from Town, Falkingham freed Fallowfield who then released Muldoon who struck the ball low past Ashmore. The marksmen’s 14th strike in his debut season at Town.
After the goal Simon Weaver's men grew into the game, Falkingham looked lively after some good work which lead to the equaliser.
Going into the final 20 minutes as the side were battling for a winner, Burrell pulled off two impressive potentially game saving tackles as the game had evolved into an end to end affair.
In the 84th minute Falkingham broke through and fell to the ground in the penalty area but any hope of a penalty was waved away by referee Anthony Tankard almost immediately, much to the dismay of the CNG faithful.
Despite a mini resurgence performance wise in the second half, it just wasn’t meant to be Town’s afternoon. In the 87th minute a fleet free kick was clipped to the back post and was then headed back across goal where Drury got to the ball before Belshaw to put the visitors back in the lead for the second time in the game.
Unfortunately Town couldn’t find a reply and were sent down to ninth in the National League standings.
Report by Isaac Martin
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Falkingham, Howe, Burrell, Thomson (Mottley-Henry ’68) , Emmett, Beck, Kerry, Muldoon (Williams ‘77), Kitching
Subs: Senior, Cracknell, Woods.
Yellow cards: Kitching
Goals: Muldoon ‘50
Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, King, Magri, Adams, Drury, Weston, Cheek (Kedwell ’89) , Payne, Whitley (Mcdonald ’85) , Bush, Wilson
Subs: Miles, Moncur, Omar.
Yellow cards: Ashmore
Goals: Cheek ‘8, Drury ‘89
Referee: Christopher Pollard. (Replaced by Anthony Tankard due to injury)