Maidstone United 0 – 3 Tonbridge Angels
Saturday 21st July 2012 // Pre-Season Friendly // Attendance: 1320 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Following two games against league opposition, Maidstone United’s pre-season campaign continued with a fixture against local rivals Tonbridge Angels but the Conference South outfit proved too strong for The Stones.
The two sides were evenly matched in a first half where manager Jay Saunders experimented with Shaun Welford in the lone striker role but after the break, substitute Frannie Collin showed why he is considered to be one of the best forwards in Kent non-league football with two goals that knocked the stuffing out of Maidstone.
The Stones created a number of chances during the game and the first attempt on goal came with nine minutes on the clock when Ryan Cooper’s corner from the right dropped to Michael Phillips inside the box and his overhead kick went wide. Then just seconds later, Alex Flisher slipped the ball to Tom Mills who raced forwards and his cross – shot was turned round the near post by Lee Worgan in the Tonbridge goal.
At the other end, Mike Suarez saw a diving header go wide before on 26 minutes, Sam Bewick showed good strength to get the better of George Crimmen close to the half way line. Bewick found Cooper down the right and continued his run into the box where he eventually got on the end of the cross from Cooper but he could not find a way past Worgan with his shot.
However, the best save of the half came with 28 minutes gone when Crimmen’s cross into the area was met by Suarez and his header looked to be going in before Deren Ibrahim intervened with a flying save and prevented the ball from creeping inside his left hand post.
Apart from a header from Nicky Humphrey which went straight at Worgan, there was then nothing to note until the 50th minute when The Stones pieced together a slick move down the left hand side. Flisher flicked a delightful back heel into the path of Mills who advanced into the area and hit the ball goalwards only for Worgan to make a good save with his legs.
Mills was involved again shortly afterwards when unfortunately his pass didn’t have enough momentum to reach Ben Davisson and Lee Browning nipped in to gain possession and put Collin through on goal but the Tonbridge striker wasted the opportunity and shot wide.
Collin continued to be instrumental in the visitor’s attacks and he saw a fierce effort from a central position clip the top of the bar before he was finally rewarded with a goal on 59 minutes when he latched onto a pass from Crimmen and spun and fired the ball into the net.
With 66 minutes played Collin’s low free-kick into the box was met by Ollie Lockyear who drew another fine stop from Ibrahim and The Stones then had another couple of chances before Davisson saw an effort blocked and from the rebound, Flisher smashed the ball out of the ground.
Worgan then saved from Bewick but on 75 minutes, Tonbridge moved further ahead when Mark Lovell sent over a cross and Collin pulled away from his marker to send a delightful finish past the stranded Ibrahim.
Then with five minutes remaining, Tonbridge rounded off a satisfying afternoon and ensured their first win of pre-season when a long ball forward picked out Browning and he held off Humphrey before finding the net with a confident finish.
Also today, Maidstone United’s Reserves won 3-0 away at Chipstead (Sevenoaks) with goals coming from Brett Ince, Charlie Smith and Joe Hudson.
Maidstone United: -
Tonbridge Angels: Frannie Collin 59, 75, Lee Browning 85
Maidstone United: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Cooper, Tom Mills, Nicky Humphrey, Graeme Andrews, Tim Olorunda (Paul Booth 45), Michael Phillips (Jay Saunders 84), Sam Bewick, Shaun Welford (Ade Olorunda 78), Ben Davisson, Alex Flisher. Subs not used: Tommy Osborne, Ryan Croucher, Alex Waugh, Charlie Mitten.
Tonbridge Angels: Lee Worgan, Danny Walder (Hyland 46), George Crimmen, Tom Davis (Ryan Waterman 82), Ollie Schulz, Ben Judge (John Scarborough 76), Rory Hill, Chris Piper (Lee Browning 46), Mikel Suarez (Frannie Collin 46), George Purcell (Mark Lovell 46), Nathan Korangten (King 70).