Saturday 23 August // Ryman League Premier Division // Attendance: 1,687 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Five games in and Maidstone United are still enjoying a great start to the new season.
This game against Bury Town might not live long in the memory but the Stones still picked up a victory which means they have won every match of the new season and are keeping up with the favourites for the league title, Margate.
Up until this match, Maidstone had only had one change to their starting line up with Jamie Coyle coming in for Steve Watt on Tuesday night against Hampton and Richmond Borough. But for the game against Bury Town, James Rogers and Ben Greenhalgh started for the first team this season with Rogers looking particularly effective alongside Alex Brown in midfield.
It was Greenhalgh who had Maidstone’s first opportunity of the game. With 12 minutes gone, he roamed forward and tried to pick out Jay May but the ball ran through to Marcus Garnham in the Bury goal.
Not long after this, some good work from Alex Brown saw the midfielder exchange passes with Jay May and advance into the area. May was fouled as this happened and the referee, Mr Goldsmith, pulled play back for a free-kick. Frannie Collin stepped up to take this and it went wide of the left hand post.
The Stones continued to enjoy the greater the share of possession as Bury looked to put as many men ball behind the ball as possible and on 22 minutes, Alex Flisher put a deep cross towards the back post which Jamie Coyle just failed to connect with.
There was then a significant delay as the referee pulled up injured before Garnham made a decent save to keep the scores level. Steve Butcher picked out Greenhalgh who got a snap shot away which Garham pushed wide of the his left hand post.
The game continued in a similar manner in the second half with Maidstone pushing Bury back at every opportunity. With 48 minutes gone, Flisher crossed for Coyle who saw a header just clear the bar.
Just past the hour, a free-kick from Frannie Collin was turned away from goal by Garnham and Brown lifted the rebound over the bar but with 63 minutes on the clock, Maidstone took the lead. A long throw from Flisher came in from the left and reached Coyle at the back post who headed in his first goal for the Stones.
There after there was little to note until the 80th minute. Once again Flisher was involved and this time he sent over a deep cross which was met by Collin who drew a save from Garnham at the near post.
Maidstone United: Jamie Coyle 63
Bury Town: –
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Stephen Butcher, Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle, Sonny Miles, Alex Brown, Ben Greenhalgh (Matt Bodkin 69), James Rogers, Jay May (Ashley Miller 45), Frannie Collin, Alex Flisher. Subs Not Used: Steve Watt, Charley Robertson, Will Godmon.
Bury Town: Marcus Garnham, Miles Smith, Seb Dunbar, John Kennedy, Nathan Clarke, Connor Hall, Phil Weavers, Callum Bennett (Roger Mari 84), Ross Bailey, Steve Holder (Jack Brame), Liam Wales (Russell Short 78). Sub not used: Joe Whight.