Friday 10 August 2012 // Pre-Season Friendly // Attendance: 120 // Report by Sam Bunn
A shambolic second half display saw Maidstone United’s Reserves lose 6-3 to Kent County League Division One Malgo on Friday night.
Goals from trialist Richmond, Danny Lye and Brett Ince gave the Stones a comfortable 3-1 lead at half time, however a raft of second half changes saw Jim Bodle’s side implode, letting in five second half goals.
The Stones began with a strong side, with first team players Charlie Mitten, Steve Ward, Danny Lye and Jay Saunders all starting, and quickly took control of the game with Alfie Pavey and Brett Ince causing early problems.
However it was to be Saunders, nearly twice the age of the aforementioned Pavey and Ince, who proved to be the catalyst for the first goal of the match; the Stones player-manager drew a foul just outside the box, and the subsequent free kick from a trialist Richmind flew past the Malgo keeper into the net.
Richmond, who is of Ghanian descent and has played in both France and Germany previously, impressed in his first half outing with some deft touches and an array of long passes.
Soon after Richmond’s delightful opener, Maidstone doubled their lead with a slightly scrappier goal. Lye was felled in the box, and he picked himself up to take the penalty, however the central midfielders strike hit the post, but in the ensuing scramble for the ball Lye was able to poke home.
The dangerous Ince, cutting in from the left flank, then saw two ferocious drives hit the bar and be well saved respectively, and Pavey saw a shot blocked after good work from Richmond.
Then against the run of play, the away side halved the deficit, with a Malgo player left unmarked at the back post to head in.
However the Stones quickly restored their two-goal advantage on the stroke of half time when the Malgo ‘keeper mishit a clearance straight to Ince, who chipped into an empty net.
After a fairly easy first half, the second half was not to follow the same pattern with the Stones totally falling apart.
An Abbott foul in the box saw a penalty scored for Malgo, and another mistake saw the scores go level within minutes of the restart.
The Stones defence was now totally vunerable to any sort of ball over the top, and only the bar saved Malgo from taking the lead, but the away side were soon ahead after a Charlie Mitten fumble allowed a Malgo attacker to scramble the ball home.
Malgo then added another, and then made it six with a cracking strike after a player cut in from the left-hand side and shot from 20 yards.
Martins Remiss then nearly got a late 4th for the Stones, heading Jordan Hill’s cross against the bar, but it was to be Malgo’s day as the game finished 6-3.
Maidstone United Reserves (4-3-3): Charlie Mitten; Joe Reeves (Rhys Fox 45), Jason Hollick (Leon Onabanjo 45), Steve Ward (Barney Abbott 45), Conor Bruniges; Jay Saunders, Danny Lye, Richmond (Ryan Croucher 45); Trialist (Martins Remiss 45), Alfie Pavey (Jordan Hill 45), Brett Ince (Reece Longville-Daly 60)
Sub not used: Zach Foster-Crouch (GK)