Saturday 3rd March 2012 // Ryman League One // Attendance: 273 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
After last week’s disappointment against Faversham Town, a below par second half performance from The Stones once again proved costly as their playoff hopes suffered another setback at in form Ramsgate.
This was a game that Maidstone should have got at least a point from but they paid the price for a lapse of concentration which resulted in the prolific Ian Pulman getting the decisive strike early on in the second half.
The first attempt on goal came with seven minutes played when Shaun Welford was fouled just outside the Ramsgate penalty area. Alex Flisher stepped up to take the resultant free-kick which he got on target but Danny Twyman dived to his left to collect the ball.
Shortly afterwards Twyman was called into action again when Ellis Green ran down the right hand side and shot towards the near post only for the Ramsgate keeper to push the ball over the bar. Then on 23 minutes Karl Murray sent an excellent diagonal ball out to the left hand side which reached Flisher who raced into the area and fired over.
Maidstone continued to look the stronger of the two sides when going forwards and with 25 minutes played, Alex Waugh passed to Welford who battled hard to keep possession as he entered the box and as he lost his footing he shot wide.
Moments later, a quick free-kick from Murray found Green who drove a cross towards the near post where it was met by Danny Lye who acrobatically flicked the ball into the air and then his subsequent over head kick whistled just wide of the right hand post.
Then with 44 minutes played one of the main talking points of the game occurred. Flisher chased a long pass forward and having played the ball as he neared the edge of the box he was clattered into by Twyman. The challenge ended Twyman’s game but it was surprising that the referee, Mr Fissenden, did not award Maidstone a free-kick for the challenge or show the Ramsgate keeper a card.
With Twyman injured, Ramsgate put their young substitute goalkeeper Shannon Harris between the sticks and he acquitted himself well in the second half. It wasn’t long before Harris was called into action as with 46 minutes played, Waugh picked up a loose ball inside the box after Welford was challenged and he advanced towards the touchline before pulling it back towards the waiting Welford but the Ramsgate keeper made a vital interception.
At the other end, John Whitehouse had been enjoying a quiet afternoon in the Maidstone goal but he was beaten on 57 minutes when The Stones defence was caught out by a long ball forwards to Pulman who ran into the area, rounded Whitehouse and from a tight angle dispatched an impressive finish into the far side of the net.
Maidstone tried to respond to falling behind with a quick equaliser and on 61 minutes, Welford flicked a goal kick from Whitehouse into the path of Waugh who saw his snap shot comfortably gathered by Harris.
Shortly afterwards Murray set up substitute Baff Addae but the Maidstone striker scuffed his shot wide and then on 64 minutes, Harris had to come to the edge of the area to deny Waugh and the ball dropped to Green who saw his effort cleared away from the line by the covering Ramsgate defender.
At the other end, Whitehouse had to be alert with 73 minutes played to tip Liam Quinn’s goalbound effort from distance behind and then a comedy of errors in the Maidstone defence nearly gifted Ramsgate a second goal but Whitehouse did well to parry the resultant shot from Pulman.
As the game moved towards full time, The Stones went close to levelling on two occasions but Tom Mills saw his curling effort expertly saved by Harris and then in stoppage time, Lye’s shot was headed clear by a well placed Ramsgate defender inside the six yard box.
Ramsgate: Ian Pulman 57
Maidstone United: -
Ramsgate: Danny Twyman (Shannon Harris 45), Ollie Gray, Gareth Cornhill, Luke Wheatley, Liam Quinn, Ben Laslett, Tom Hickman, Joe Taylor, Ian Pulman (Warren Schulz 90), Simon Pettit, Michael Yianni (Tom Chapman 12). Sub not used: Dean Grant.
Maidstone United: John Whitehouse, Tommy Osborne, Tom Mills, Sam Groombridge, Graeme Andrews, Danny Lye, Ellis Green, Karl Murray, Shaun Welford, Alex Waugh, Alex Flisher (Baff Addae 53). Subs not used: Jay Saunders, Sam Bewick, Sam Hasler, Sean Johnson.