Saturday 27th October 2012 // FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round // Attendance: 402 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
The Stones are through to the next round of the FA Trophy after knocking out higher league opposition in the form of Bedford Town and at the same time, Maidstone recorded their fifth victory in a row.
By the time that Bedford got their first goal with 81 minutes played, The Stones could have scored five or six times and they nearly ended up paying for a rare display of wastefulness in front of goal as they let The Eagles back into the game as full time approached.
Having ended the match in a nervous fashion it was easy to forget that Maidstone had enjoyed the best of the first half and they should have taken the lead with less than one minute on the clock. Tom Mills hit a good pass over the top of the Bedford defence which Alex Flisher latched on to and he drove over a fine cross which reached the unmarked Shaun Welford who had an open goal to aim at and he unfortunately put the ball wide of the right hand post.
Then with 22 minutes played, Charlie Mitten pumped a free-kick forwards which Welford headed up into the air and the Maidstone striker showed good persistence to collect the ball and hit a low shot goalwards which Ian Brown had to get down to parry.
But the deadlock was broken five minutes later when Flisher hurled a long throw across the box and the Bedford defence were static as Ian Draycott reacted quickly and stooped to head the ball into the net from close range.
It wasn’t until half time was imminent that The Eagles finally had a shot on target when Callum Lewis drew a diving save from Mitten. Moments later, Bedford broke quickly following a Maidstone attack and Nicky Humphrey had to run almost the length of the pitch to make a vital interception and deny substitute Jamaine Ivy before Lewis saw a header drop wide of the right hand post following a corner.
After the break, Bedford put Maidstone under pressure and they had a good chance to equalise when The Stones managed to stop Nat Peacock from shooting but the ball came across to Lewis who was in space inside the box and he dragged his shot wide of the left hand post.
Despite having been second best after the interval, it didn’t take long for Maidstone to score again as with 58 minutes on the clock, Ben Davisson’s deep corner was headed back across the box by Tim Olorunda and Welford’s low drive appeared to be heading just wide until it stuck Ollie Wilkinson who accidentally diverted the it into the net.
Shortly afterwards, The Stones went close to adding a third when Welford showed good awareness to take a quick throw which put Alex Flisher in down the left and Flisher ran into the box and smashed the ball against the inside of the left hand post.
Then with 66 minutes played, Maidstone really should have scored again when this time Bedford’s defence stood completely still allowing Draycott to gain possession inside the box and with only Brown to beat, Draycott saw his effort go wide of the post.
The Stones continued to push forwards at every opportunity and Welford then had two chances to score but he saw Brown make a good save with his legs to stop his first shot before he then put a header wide of the left hand post when he was well placed.
However, Welford made amends for not taking his earlier chances with 77 minutes played when he latched onto a delightful through ball from Davisson and slid the ball past the stranded Brown.
At this point it had appeared that The Stones had secured their place in the next round but Bedford were to prove they still had some fight left in them. With eleven minutes remaining, Ashley Fuller’s goal bound effort was blocked inside the six yard box but The Eagles soon had a goal when the ball dropped to Ivy following a corner and he lashed the ball into the net.
Then with the game in stoppage time, Bedford set up a difficult finish for The Stones as Steve Kinniburgh got in down the left and played it to Michael Built who took the opportunity to score but fortunately for Maidstone they managed to see out the remaining minutes and book their place in the next round of the FA Trophy.
Bedford Town: Jamaine Ivy 81, Michael Built 90
Maidstone United: Ian Draycott 27, Ollie Wilkinson 58 (own goal), Shaun Welford 77
Bedford Town: Ian Brown, Ollie Wilkinson, Steve Kinniburgh, Michael Built, Josh Beech (Dan Crowie 36 (Eugene Libertucci 87)), Jamie Grimes, Mark Ball, Callum Lewis, Nat Peacock, Will Green (Jamaine Ivy 13), Ashley Fuller. Subs not used: Seb Simpson, Paul Carter.
Maidstone United: Charlie Mitten, Tommy Osborne, Tom Mills, Nicky Humphrey, Graeme Andrews, Tim Olorunda, Ben Davisson, Kaiyne Woolery (Sam Bewick 74), Shaun Welford, Ian Draycott (Danny Lye 70), Alex Flisher. Subs not used: Ade Olorunda, Ryan Cooper, Deren Ibrahim.