Website wonders enjoy day of glory: McPhee the hero as Ebbsfleet win FA Trophy

Last updated at 09:36 12 May 2008

Mark Alford, one of Ebbsfleet United's 30,000 co-owners, gets his first taste of silverware

One kick can determine a footballer's career. Soon at Ebbsfleet, it will be one click. But not until next season, which is just as well for forward Chris McPhee.

Ebbsfleet players celebrate with the trophy's ownership of Saturday's FA Trophy winners has yet to reach the stage where their internet-based members decide tactics and personnel.

That starts in pre-season and a cooling-off period would be advisable to protect against hasty decisions.

Moments after McPhee, 25, had a penalty saved by Torquay's Martin Rice, he was on hand to sidefoot the only goal against his former club.

Maybe 12 months from now, one could imagine fingers hovering over keyboards across the globe as 29,850 cyber owners dish out the Sir Alan Sugar treatment to a blunderer in such circumstances, before he gets chance to make amends.

McPhee's goal just before half-time, which he dedicated to his sister - an ME sufferer - sent Ebbsfleet's red army into raptures at Wembley.

All 23,000 of them - in a crowd of 40,180 - an eclectic mix of MyFC Johnny-come-latelys and Gravesend & Northfleet FC old-timers.

It was truly a grand day out for the Kent club. Last summer, Gravesend & Northfleet morphed into Ebbsfleet United, named after the new Eurostar terminal near the club's Stonebridge Road ground.

And in February this year, MyFC completed a £700,000 takeover.

You'd think winning non-League's premier cup competition would be the perfect end to a tumultuous season for a side that finished 11th in the Blue Square Premier. Not so, according to MyFC founder Will Brooks.

Ebbsfleet captain Paul McCarthy celebrates

He said: "This is the pinnacle of the season but it's just the beginning of what we hope will be MyFootballClub's successful ownership of Ebbsfleet.

"I thought getting to Wembley was the achievement - and it was financially. But winning the trophy has proved to me what we all really knew: football is about winning.

"I'm just so happy for all those who've travelled from Dubai, Australia, America, Canada, Croatia, Italy and of course Kent to enjoy themselves at Wembley. It's been like a wedding, meeting everyone.

It's been quite emotional."

Michael Bostwick of Ebbsfleet is tackled by Chris Hargreaves