5 February 2011 – Presto, He’s Gone

On 5 February 2011, Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Preston Edwards became an internet sensation after getting sent off in a match after just ten seconds.

Ebbsfleet, who were sitting in second place in the Conference South table, were at fourth-placed Farnsborough, whom they had beaten 2-1 earlier that season. The visitors kicked off and promptly sent the ball down to their left back, who--under pressure from a Farnsborough player after a failed clearance--tried to pass it back to Edwards. But the pass was too slow, allowing another Farnsborough player to get to it instead.

In order to prevent the goal, Edwards brought the attacker down in the box, resulting in a straight red--the fastest ejection in history for a goalkeeper. With no substitute keeper on the bench, Ebbsfleet were forced to replace him in goal with midfielder Tom Phipps, who made a valiant effort, but failed to stop the ensuing penalty kick. It was the first goal toward the final score of 3-0 for Farnsborough.

Video of the incident went viral soon afterward, making Edwards an overnight celebrity. Speaking to BBC Radio Kent, he said "I'd like to be known for better, different reasons, but it's happened. I've got to take it on the chin. At least I've got something in history." He ultimately got payback, however, as Ebbsfleet beat Farnsborough at the end of the season in the promotion playoffs, earning a spot in the Conference National.

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