Having watched his Hemel Hempstead Town side put a dent in Maidenhead United’s promotion hopes at the weekend, Dean Brennan this week said Ebbsfleet United – the division’s new leaders – were his favourites for the title.
Two defensive lapses, which led to goals from Charlie Sheringham – on loan from Ebbsfleet – and Jake Robinson cost United dear as they suffered only their third league defeat of the season, all away from York Road.
Dave Tarpey curled home a wonderful free-kick a minute from time, and Jordan Cox saw a bundled late finish chalked off for an unfair challenge on keeper Jamie Butler as United saw their grip on top spot unpicked by Ebbsfleet’s 3-0 win over Whitehawk.
Brennan expects there to be more twists and turns in the title race, but, if he were a betting man, his money would be on Ebbsfleet making up for last season's promotion heartache by edging out Maidenhead and Dartford for the main prize.
“They (Maidenhead) have one of the best forward lines in the league,” he said.
“Comley (James Comley) coming back for them is also a boost and they’ll be contenders.
“For me there’s still three teams vying for the title and there’ll be plenty more twists and turns.
“I make Ebbsfleet favourites purely because they’re full-time and, over the course of a long nine-month season, that can make a difference.”
Brennan felt the Tudors were deserving winners at Vauxhall Road after carving out the game’s best chances. He was also delighted to see how well new strike partners Robinson and Sheringham dovetailed together in attack.
“I thought we played really well,” added Brennan.
“Maidenhead started the game strongly and had the better early chances, but after that I thought we dominated and had the majority of the chances.
“We scored two fantastic goals (through Charlie Sheringham and Jake Robinson) and Dave Tarpey has hit an excellent free-kick.
“It was a fabulous game played between two sides intent on winning.”
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