Maidstone United 1- 0 Dagenham and Redbridge
Tuesday 17th July 2012 // Pre-Season Friendly // Attendance: 1418 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
On the night that The Gallagher Stadium had its floodlights switched on for the first time in a competitive match, Maidstone United shone on the pitch as a solitary strike from Shaun Welford gave them their initial win in their new home.
After being on the wrong end of a drubbing at the weekend, The Stones responded in the best possible manner which left manager Jay Saunders delighted and he said afterwards: “I thought that we were superb. There were some brilliant performances and obviously it was pleasing to get the first goal at the new stadium to win the game so overall it was a good night.”
Apart from a twenty minute spell in the first half, Maidstone contained their league two opponents with Ben Davisson commanding in midfield and at times, The Stones played some delightful football on the new pitch.
It was The Stones who started the more strongly as with just six minutes on the clock Alex Flisher’s cross came over the area to the waiting Ian Draycott and from a good position, Draycott put the ball into the side netting to the right of the goal. Then seconds later, there was another scare for the Dagenham defence when Davisson drove over a low cross which The Daggers keeper Jordan Seabright pushed away from goal.
As the half progressed, Dagenham and Redbridge’s Louis Dennis started to cause Maidstone problems and he threatened a couple of times before going closer still on 18 minutes when he was put in on goal by Rob Edmans only for Charlie Mitten to make a smart stop with his feet.
Shortly afterwards, Maidstone had an excellent opportunity to score their first goal at The Gallagher Stadium when Paul Booth found himself one on one with Seabright but with the goal looming, Booth thumped his shot wide of the right hand post.
For the next ten minutes The Stones were pegged back as Dagenham and Redbridge began to assert their authority and on 23 minutes, Tim Olorunda got caught between Edmans and Jake Reed which allowed Reed to shoot but his effort failed to trouble Mitten.
Winger Alex Osborn then had a few attempts off target before Reed tricked his way through the Maidstone defence on 31 minutes but Dennis couldn’t make the most of the pull back from Reed.
Two minutes later, it was The Stones’ turn to go close when a delightful long ball forward from Graeme Andrews picked out Welford who had timed his run well but Welford elected to shoot early and his attempted lob flew wide of the far post.
Michael Phillips then saw a fierce effort from distance fizz into the stand behind the goal before the visitors brought the half to a close with a well worked move which saw Richard Rose get in behind the Maidstone defence only for Mitten to parry his shot and then Osborn blazed the rebound into the car park.
But after a wait of 136 minutes, the Maidstone faithful were finally rewarded with the first Stones goal at The Gallagher Stadium when a mistake in The Daggers defence drew Seabright from his line and Welford reacted quickly to stroke the ball into the net. Welford was clearly delighted with being the first Stones player to score in Maidstone United’s new home and it was a fitting reward for the hard working forward who was an integral part of the team last season.
There after there was little in the way of goalmouth action as Maidstone restricted Dagenham and Redbridge to shooting from distance and it wasn’t until the 71st minute that there was nearly another goal when this time substitute Alex Waugh’s low drive on the turn hit the right hand post. Then with just minutes remaining, The Stones went close again when this time substitute Ryan Croucher struck the ball goalwards from outside the area but Seabright made a flying one handed save.
Maidstone United: Shaun Welford 46
Dagenham and Redbridge: -
Maidstone United: Charlie Mitten (Deren Ibrahim 54), Tommy Osborne (Ryan Cooper 57), Tom Mills (Lewis Mingle 65), Tim Olorunda, Graeme Andrews Michael Phillips (Ryan Croucher 70), Ben Davisson, Ian Draycott (Sam Bewick 40), Shaun Welford (Danny Lye 73), Paul Booth (Alex Waugh 65), Alex Flisher Subs not used: Jay Saunders, Nicky Humphrey.
Dagenham and Redbridge: Jordan Seabright (Caine Davies 89), Andrew Byrne (Ian Gayle 46), Duran Reynolds, Luke Wilkinson (Lewis Frost 61), Steve Folan, Rob Hicks (Ellis Sands 46), Alex Osborn, Richard Rose (Tom Davie 46), Rob Edmans (Louis Dennis 78), Louis Dennis (Curtis Ujoh 46), Jake Reed (Gavin Macullum 46).