Monday 27th August 2012 // Ryman One South // Attendance 264 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
After three matches of the Ryman One South season, it is now clear that Maidstone United need to raise their game and cut out the mistakes at the back if they are to enjoy a successful campaign as once again, difficulties in defence led to another league defeat.
“It’s all well and good playing well in pre-season but at the moment there are too many players who are not doing it,” said Jay Saunders after the game. “It can’t go on much longer because I want to win things and I want to get promoted. There is only so much you can tell the players and if they don’t take it on board then that is disappointing.”
For long periods of the game this was a largely uninspiring affair between two teams who never really seemed to get going. There was little to note during a drab first half but with less than one minute played, Worthing carved out an opportunity when Chris O’Flaherty played the ball into Paul Kennett who struck a curling effort from just outside the area which was comfortably stopped by Deren Ibrahim.
Then with 16 minutes on the clock, The Stones were fortunate not to go behind when a mistake from Nicky Humphrey saw him dispossessed by Jamie Brotherton who ran towards goal but with only Ibrahim to beat, he elected to shoot early and Ibrahim blocked the ball with his left foot.
Maidstone failed to work Alan Mansfield in the Worthing goal during the first half and one of their few attempts going forwards came with 30 minutes on the clock when Michael Phillips found Ben Davisson out on the left and he cut into the box before hitting a curling effort which flew well wide of the right hand post.
The second half continued in a similar vein with little in the way of goalmouth action until the 66th minute when the home side took the lead. Graeme Andrews conceded a free-kick close to the edge of the area and Ibrahim couldn’t stop O’Flaherty’s deep ball being headed in a the back post by Scott Tipper.
Tipper then flashed a header wide a few minutes later before The Stones began to improve and with 72 minutes on the clock, Philips squared the ball to Shaun Welford who was in a good position close to goal but he couldn’t get a shot away.
However, it wasn’t until the 86th minute that Maidstone finally made Alan Mansfield in the Worthing goal work when Andrews sent a decent long ball forwards for Welford to chase and despite being under pressure, Welford managed to fire a shot goalwards only for Mansfield to make a fine save and push the ball behind for a corner.
Unfortunately for The Stones though any chance they had of salvaging a draw from the game disappeared as the match moved into stoppage time when Humphrey allowed Tipper to slip the ball into substitute Nick Sullivan and he slotted the ball past the stranded Ibrahim.
Next up for Maidstone is a home fixture against Corinthian Casuals and Saunders didn’t want to be too down beat after the latest loss for The Stones saying: “We have got to pick ourselves up as there are plenty of games to go and the league is not won after the first week. We have got good players and you don’t become a bad side overnight but something is not clicking at the moment and we have got to put that right.”
Worthing: Scott Tipper 66, Nick Sullivan 90
Maidstone United: -
Worthing: Alan Mansfield, Steve Metcalf, Chris O’Flaherty, Paul Kennett, Matt Hunley, Glen Woodburn, Jamie Brotherton (Matt Reece 62), Mike Huckett (Scott Kirkwood 62), Scott Tipper, Luke Gedling, Tom Lawley (Nick Sullivan 77). Subs not used: Nick Sullivan, Scott Kirkwood, Matt Daniel, Matt Reece, Owen Kessack.
Maidstone United: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Cooper, Tommy Osborne, Nicky Humphrey, Graeme Andrews, Tim Olorunda, Ben Davisson (Paul Booth 69), Tom Mills, Shaun Welford, Michael Phillips, Kaiyne Woolery (Ade Olorunda 83). Subs not used: Steve Ward, Danny Lye, Ian Draycott.