Salford City return to league action when Ebbsfleet United visit The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday (KO 15:00).
Following a break for the Emirates FA Cup, the league leaders will be keen to return to winning ways after a 2-2 draw against Braintree Town last time out.
Looking for a win themselves are our visitors from Kent who are in the lower half of the table ahead of their visit. Daryl McMahon’s side reached the play-off semi-finals last season where they were beaten by eventual winners Tranmere Rovers, and in the summer managed to keep the squad together and add a couple of signings.
However the start to this season hasn’t been what Fleet fans may been been expecting, and on top of that has come reports of financial difficulty in the last couple off weeks. Chairman Abdulla Al-Humaidi issued a statement saying that he felt it is the right time to re-structure the club to make it more self-sufficient.
Ebbsfleet haven’t quite hit the same levels that saw them go through most of February, March and April unbeaten and sneak into the play-offs, and the affairs off the pitch won’t help if they go for too long unresolved.
One clear area that may help explain Fleet’s struggles this season is their home form; they have won and drawn once each in eight games at the Kuflink Stadium. If the table went off home form the McMahon’s side would be in the drop zone, but flip that around and if it was based on away form then Ebbsfleet would be in the play-offs, behind Salford on goal difference.
Fleet have lost just twice in eight games on the road, drawing two and winning four, so they will be coming to Salford full of confidence that they can compete against The Ammies.
A comfortable win against Worthing in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend will have come as a positive break for McMahon, and prevented a third straight defeat for Ebbsfleet. That run still looms in the league if they can’t avoid defeat at The Peninsula Stadium.
Those previous two league opponents have have been Solihull Moors and Harrogate Town, so this is Ebbsfleet’s third game against a side in the top seven.
Head to head: Danny Kedwell vs Adam Rooney
Kedwell signed at the Kuflink Stadium from fellow Kent side Gillingham in January 2015, and much like the signing of Rooney in the summer, it sent a few shockwaves through non-league about Fleet’s intentions.
Now 35, Kedwell can still find the back of the net and is Fleet’s leading goalscorer this season with five goals, while Rooney is the top scorer in the top five leagues of English football with 12 goals to his name.
Having been a regular scorer at Welling United, Kedwell was soon a regular on the scoresheet at AFC Wimbledon where 67 goals in three years helped fire the Dons into the Football League. He then made the move to Gillingham where he won League Two in 2013 and became a fan favourite before departing for Ebbsfleet in 2015.
In his fifth season, Kedwell continues to play an important part in McMahon’s side as a powerful and hard-working forward.