TEN-MAN Tran­mere Rovers weath­ered an Ebb­s­fleet United storm to steal a point away from Stone­bridge Road.

Micky Mel­lon’s Rovers were forced to play nearly all of the sec­ond half with a numer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage af­ter for­mer Derby and Black­burn de­fender Jay McEve­ley was sent off for two book­able of­fences.

And they were forced to cling on with for­mer White­hawk striker Danny Mills de­nied a win­ner in his first Ebb­s­fleet start by a mag­nif­i­cent block by Adam Bux­ton.

It was Fleet’s NINTH draw of the cam­paign but boss Daryl McMa­hon was pleased with his side’s per­for­mance de­spite fail­ing to find a win­ner.

“We were very good to­day from the start of the game,” he said. “I asked them to move the ball about bet­ter than we have been do­ing and I thought we dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion even when it was 11 against 11.”

“Danny Mills did re­ally well, in his first start, against the big­gest team in the league. He had a good de­but. I asked them to con­trol the game and we did that re­ally well.

“That was more of an Ebb­s­fleet per­for­mance com­pared to what we have seen in the last two matches. We just need to be a bit bet­ter in the box and we will be al­right.”

McMa­hon swung the axe af­ter Tues­day’s 2-0 home de­feat to Alder­shot, leav­ing out no fewer than four play­ers from his start­ing line-up in­clud­ing for­wards Danny Ked­well and Dar­ren McQueen.

Tran­mere were keen to get a win from their first ever meet­ing with the Fleet and were on the front foot from the off with Jay Har­ris see­ing his ef­fort trickle past a post from James Nor­wood’s cross.

McEve­ley picked up his first yel­low card of the game fol­low­ing a tus­sle with Chris Bush on 27 min­utes but Tran­mere looked rel­a­tively com­fort­able with Bux­ton pro­vid­ing plenty of threat down the right-hand side, de­liv­er­ing two good strikes that had home keeper Nathan Ash­more scram­bling to con­tain.

At the other end, Mills grew into the game as the min­utes ticked and just be­fore half-time saw his close-range ef­fort blocked by Bux­ton with the goal at his mercy.

He was later de­nied by Rovers keeper Scott Davies with a brave save when he seemed cer­tain to score from close range.

Any hopes of Tran­mere re­viv­ing their stut­ter­ing start to the sea­son with vic­tory, how­ever, were dealt a blow on 48 min­utes when McEve­ley got his march­ing or­ders for a foul on Myles We­ston.

Look­ing to seize the op­por­tu­nity, Ebb­s­fleet surged for­ward with Rovers find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to put pres­sure on the home goal, even though James Nor­wood did force Ash­more into a smart save on 71 min­utes with one of their rare for­ays up­field.

The de­feat by Alder­shot on Tues­day night is still Ebb­s­fleet’s only one of the sea­son so far and McMa­hon, for one, is happy with how his side are shap­ing up in the Na­tional League.

“We have just played Alder­shot, an ex-League One club, and Tran­mere, an ex-Cham­pi­onship club,” he said.

“We are not those big clubs. We are Ebb­s­fleet from the Con­fer­ence South. We are a small team com­pared to them and we are do­ing al­right.”

Mel­lon was happy with a point af­ter­wards, adding: “We came to get three points but it was made dif­fi­cult for us just af­ter half- time. We were al­right for about 30-35 min­utes then a few things went against us and we got a wee bit dis­ap­pointed. The game com­pletely changed when we went down to ten but the boys dug in and got us a point. They showed a lot of char­ac­ter.”

“When you are in the po­si­tion we are in you look at the pos­i­tives, and a clean sheet and a point when you are down to ten men is some­thing for us to build on. We will try and get back to the brand of foot­ball we all want to play.”

PIC­TURE: Tony Fowles

SAVIOUR: Tran­mere keeper Scott Davies saves from Ebb­s­fleet’s Danny Mills

CON­TENT: Ebb­s­fleet boss Daryl McMa­hon

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