Tuesday 1st October 2012 // Kent Senior Cup // Attendance: // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United’s impressive run of form continues as they notched up their seven successive win with a victory in the Kent Senior Cup. Although this competition will not be high in Jay Saunders’ priorities this year, the game provided a useful run out for a number of players who have yet to feature much so far but will no doubt be required as the season progresses.
It took just five minutes for Maidstone to test Taylor Humm in the Cray goal when Joe Reeves hit a low drive goalwards which the home keeper managed to parry. However, Humm was left totally exposed shortly afterwards when the ball was allowed to come across the edge of the area to Michael Phillips who was in plenty of space and he clinically riffled the ball into the net.
Cray looked to respond quickly and winger James Fray went on a mazy run down the right which The Stones defence struggled to stop and Fray managed to create space for a shot as reached the edge of the box which swerved wide of the right hand post.
With 12 minutes played, Maidstone had a chance to further extend their lead when Ben Davisson struck a long ball forwards which caught the Cray defence cold. Although Ian Draycott couldn’t chase the pass as he would have been offside, the home side were unaware of the run from deep from Sam Bewick and he gained possession before attempting a quick shot as Humm came out of his goal but he could not direct the ball on target.
It was then the home side’s turn to threaten when Fray once again ran down the right and pulled the ball back where it was left to come to Louis Sprosen who saw his fierce effort thump wide of the left hand post. And Cray were soon to regret this miss as with 27 minutes played, Maidstone keeper Zach Foster-Crouch pumped a long kick down field which was taken on by Ian Draycott who kept his cool and slotted the ball past Humm.
It wasn’t long until Draycott twice threatened to score again. The first opportunity came about when Cray lost the ball in midfield and Ade Olorunda sent a pinpoint pass out to the right to Draycott who entered the box and fired the ball towards goal only for Humm to get down quickly and make the save. Then seconds later, Bewick drove a low ball across the box which the sliding Draycott couldn’t divert into the net.
Then with six minutes to go before half time, Cray halved the deficit thanks to a strike from Steve Lazano and on 63 minutes, the home side drew level when Matt Pooley sent the ball across the six yard box and Fray got a tap in at the far post.
Cray were only level for three minutes though as The Stones were awarded a penalty when Ian Draycott was tripped inside the box and Ben Davisson duly dispatched the spot kick. The game then immediately swung to the other end and the home side had an excellent chance to equalise once more when Michael Power tricked his way to the touchline and played the ball across the box and despite it appearing to almost travel along the goal line, Fray couldn’t get the vital touch to knock it across the line.
With the game nearing its conclusion, Maidstone were surprisingly awarded a second penalty when Draycott was fouled by Williams Pearoux with the offence appearing to be committed just outside the box. Even so, the referee, Mr Kay, pointed to the spot once again but this time substitute Alex Waugh saw his penalty well saved by the diving Humm.
However, with the game deep in stoppage time, The Stones made sure of their progress into the next round when substitute Ryan Croucher added a fourth goal for the visitors and Maidstone can now finally look forward to a home tie in a cup competition as they take on Tonbridge Angels in the next round.
Cray Wanderers: Steve Lazano 39, James Fray 63
Maidstone United: Michael Phillips 7, Ian Draycott 27, Ben Davisson 66 (pen), Ryan Croucher 90
Cray Wanderers: Taylor Humm, Billy Burgess, Matt Pooley, Louis Sprosen, Joe Vines, Alex Taylor (Josh Panda 33), James Fray, Williams Pearoux, Michael Power, Kamal Shariff (Jack Clark 74), Steve Lazano (Deronie Johnson 79). Subs not used: Zak Cheesman, Lauren Hamici.
Maidstone United: Zach Foster-Crouch, Joe Reeves, Sam Bewick, Steve Ward, Jason Hollick, Danny Lye, Ben Davisson (Jay Saunders 69), Michael Phillips (Ryan Croucher 58), Ade Olorunda (Alex Waugh 62), Ian Draycott, Brett Ince. Subs not used: Ryan Cooper, Deren Ibrahim.