Saturday 6 October 2012 // Kent Hurlimann League Division One // Attendance: 51
Charlie Smith scored a hat-trick as Maidstone Reserves stretched their unbeaten run to five matches with a 3-2 win against VCD Athletic.
Stones were missing Jordon Hill (ankle), Ash Greenwood (knee), Alfie Pavey (Kent squad), Steve Okoh (ankle) and Joe Hudson (calf), while top goalscorer Brett Ince has joined Tunbridge Wells to seek Kent Premier League football.
Team coach Nathan White has also stepped down as coach which was a mutual agreement with manager Jim Bodle. The side wish both Nathan and Brett all the best with their new ventures.
Jim’s brother Ant, who has played more than 100 Ryman League games for Maidstone and Whitstable Town will be helping Jim for the foreseeable future.
Jack Simon returned from a month on the sidelines and there was a debut 16-year-old Josh Smith, with both putting in very good performances. Kurtis Heffernan also made his debut on left midfield, assisting the first goal with excellent vision to pick out Smith with a decisive through ball. The reserves had four first-year Under-18 players in the squad which shows the level of talent through the youth set-up within the club.
VCD started the game just a point behind the young Stones side in the table. The Stones started the slower of the two sides with two good opportunities falling to the travellers in the opening five minutes. Maidstone’s main chance of the first half fell to Smith six yards out, however the goalkeeper made a good save to his left hand side.
VCD also hit both crossbar and post in the first half from silly mistakes when Maidstone tried to overplay outside their own 18-yard box.
Second half Maidstone managed to get the ball down and play all their football in the VCD half. The visitors resorted to the long ball which Billy French and Jason Hollick handled with ease.
Ryan Croucher was a real presence for the home side winning the battle in the middle of the park and Josh Smith was a constant threat to VCD as he repeatedly beat the VCD left-back. Charlie Smith got his first after beating the offside trap from a well-weighted killer pass by Kurtis Heffernan.
Two minutes later Smith got his second with a header from a Jack Simon delivery. Sloppy defending on the edge of the box saw the ball break to the VCD winger on the edge of the box who pulled VCD back into the game. Smith netted his hat-trick from the spot with a well-taken penalty into the left corner.
Again the two-goal lead didn’t last long with skipper Jason Hollick getting caught out for their second. The Stones stood firm for the final 15 minutes to take all three points.
The reserves are away to Woodstock Sports on Wednesday evening looking to close to within two points of leaders Whitstable.
Maidstone United Reserves: Foster Crouch, Reeves, Hollick, French, Johnson, Smith, Croucher, Cachett, Heffernan, Smith, Simon. Subs, Bodle, Alade (75), Norton (70), Alade, Abbott.