Tuesday 16th October 2012 // League Cup Round Two // Attendance: 831 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the second time in a week, Maidstone United went goal crazy as they struck four times without reply against their former landlords Sittingbourne.
The Stones named only three players – Graeme Andrews, Kaiyne Woolery and Alex Flisher – in the starting line up who had taken to the field against Dulwich Hamlet and although Maidstone left it late, this was the ninth time this season that The Stones had scored four or more goals in one game.
It was Sittingbourne who enjoyed the best of a dull first half and they had a good chance to take the lead with less than one minute played. Joe Nwoko played a low ball into the area which Hicham Akhazzan left for Joe Taylor and he thumped his shot wide of the right hand post when well placed.
Deren Ibrahim then had to make his first save of the evening on 15 minutes when he comfortably stopped a flick from former Maidstone player Ashley Ulph. However, it wasn’t until 27 minutes had passed that The Stones finally threatened when Ade Olorunda showed good strength to hold off Ulph and strike a rising drive from just outside the box but it missed the target.
Shortly afterwards, Maidstone should have opened the scoring when Michael Phillips lifted a free-kick into the area which reached the unmarked Woolery who could only put his header wide of the right hand post.
Then with the break looming, the visitors went close twice. The first time came about when Akhazzan went past Woolery down the Sittingbourne left and drove over a dangerous cross which Ibrahim did well to punch clear and then moments later, Ibrahim denied Taylor after the Sittingbourne player had got on the end of a cross from Akhazzan.
The Stones upped the tempo significantly in the second half and with 52 minutes played, a mistake from Ryan Palmer let Alex Flisher in as the two players entered the box but Flisher elected to shoot early and his fierce effort flew into the stand at the car park end.
Then seconds later, Flisher was involved again as he worked his way into space on the left and drove a low ball into the box where it stuck Andrews’ foot and curled inches wide of the far post before Ade Olorunda was allowed to roam forwards and shoot unopposed from just outside the box but his effort did not trouble Tom Molloy in The Brickies goal.
By now Maidstone looked the stronger of the two sides and just past the hour, Michael Phillips’ free-kick deflected just wide and from the resultant corner, Ian Draycott’s cross looked to be heading straight in until Molloy punched the ball clear.
But the deadlock was broken with 72 minutes on the clock. The move started when Alex Flisher expertly turned past Ryan Palmer into space down the left and rode the challenge from Jonathan Hogg before taking his time to pick out Draycott with a cross. Draycott watched the ball all the way and showed excellent technique to hit a superb low volley which flew past Molloy.
Jason Dolby then saw red for Sittingbourne which meant The Brickies have now had seven sendings off since the start of the season and on 78 minutes, Maidstone added a second when a free-kick from Phillips picked out the unmarked substitute Alex Waugh who headed into the net.
It was clear that Sittingbourne were on the ropes by this stage and it didn’t take long for Maidstone to score again. This time, Flisher and Phillips exchanged passes in a short corner routine and Flisher crossed for substitute Jay Saunders who scored with a header.
Then with five minutes remaining, substitute Joe Reeves sent an excellent low cross into the box where it was met by Waugh who smashed in his second goal of the season and with time running out, Waugh was unfortunate not to complete his hat-trick as he curled the ball towards goal from distance and it cannoned off the cross bar.
Maidstone United: Ian Draycott 72, Alex Waugh 78, 85, Jay Saunders 82
Maidstone United: Deren Ibrahim, Ryan Cooper (Joe Reeves 79), Dan Johnson, Steve Ward, Graeme Andrews, Danny Lye, Kaiyne Woolery (Jay Saunders 59), Michael Phillips, Ade Olorunda (Alex Waugh 69), Ian Draycott, Alex Flisher. Subs not used: Ben Davisson, Tom Mills,.
Sittingbourne: Tom Molloy, Ryan Palmer, Anthony John, Jason Dolby, Jonathan Hogg, Luke Girt, Joe Taylor, Ashley Ulph, Connor Coyne (Ryan Golding 54), Joe Nwoko (Tom Skelton 73), Hicham Akhazzan (Tom Lyones 66). Subs not used: Liam Stone, Ryan Burbride.