Saturday 1 September 2012 // Ryman One South // Attendance 1,276 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Two goals from Paul Booth were enough to give The Stones their first home win in the Ryman One South this season. After Monday’s disappointment against Worthing it was important that Maidstone United bounced back and this was a much improved display from The Stones with Steve Ward helping to bring some confidence and assurance to the defence which kept their initial clean sheet of the new campaign.
Right from the outset, Maidstone looked determined to take the upper hand in the game. With less than one minute played, a header from Les Thompson, who enjoyed an excellent debut out on the right wing, came to Shaun Welford who felt he had received a shove in the back as he went over in the area but the referee, Mr Taylor, did not award a penalty.
But it did not take long for The Stones to open the scoring as with just 12 minutes on the clock, Thompson went on a good run down the right which took him into the area and although his shot was blocked by Danny Bracken’s legs, Booth reacted quickly to stroke home the rebound.
Shortly afterwards, Ben Davisson slipped the ball down the wing to Welford who surged forwards and he drew Bracken from his goal who made a good block before the Corinthian defence scrambled the ball behind for a corner.
The Stones continued to dominate though and with 16 minutes played another good run down the wing which this time came from Kaiyne Woolery ended with the young footballer pulling the ball back to Booth who cheekily back-heeled the ball inside the six yard box but he couldn’t find a way past Bracken.
As the half wore on, Maidstone started to go off the boil and it wasn’t until 34 minutes had been played that they threatened again when Davisson picked out Welford from a corner but from a deep position, Welford saw his header drop over the bar.
Sixty seconds later, Corinthian-Casuals had their first opportunity when Francois Gabbidon got in behind Graeme Andrews down the left and from a narrow angle, his shot swerved over the bar. Then with 40 minutes played, Steve Barilli latched onto a bouncing ball on the edge of the box and ran into the area but as he went to shoot, Andrews made a good tackle and Deren Ibrahim was able to gather the ball.
As the game approached half time, Thompson and Booth both had attempts on goal which missed the target and then after the break, Maidstone upped the tempo again. With 50 minutes played, Tim Olorunda saw a low shot from distance saved and then seconds later, a neat move from Maidstone saw Booth put the ball into Davisson whose curling effort clipped the post and then Bracken managed to turn Welford’s effort on the rebound wide.
From the resultant corner, Davisson picked out Welford who headed wide but with 54 minutes gone, Welford was pulled down inside the box by Danny Dudley. It was perhaps surprising that Dudley was only booked for the offence as he appeared to deny a clear goal scoring opportunity but Booth stepped up to confidently slot in the resultant penalty.
Welford was involved again moments later when Tom Mills whipped in a great cross which picked out The Stones’ striker and this time Welford’s header struck the bar and then at the other end, Danny Green’s corner was headed against the near post by Barilii.
There after chances were at a premium but with 10 minutes remaining, substitute Alex Flisher found Booth with a good cross and Booth headed the ball straight at Bracken before the visitors had a couple of attempts through substitute Jordan Cheadle and Gabbidon but The Stones held on to record a welcome clean sheet.
Maidstone United: Paul Booth 12, 55 (penalty)
Maidstone United: Deren Ibrahim, Tommy Osborne, Tom Mills, Steve Ward, Graeme Andrews, Tim Olorunda, Ben Davisson, Les Thompson (Ryan Cooper 81), Shaun Welford, Paul Booth (Ade Olorunda 87), Kaiyne Woolery (Alex Flisher 70). Subs not used: Nicky Humphrey, Danny Lye.
Corinthian-Casuals: Danny Bracken, Tom Jelly, Matt Ellis, Joe Hicks, Danny Dudley, Jason Turley, Francois Gabbidon, Danny Green, Jamie Byatt, Steve Barilli (Jordan Cheadle 76), Ross Defoe. (Danny Ly 69) Subs not used: Wayne Finniy, Ben Ewing.