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AFC Hornchurch 0-2 Maidstone United

Tuesday 2 September // Ryman League Premier Division // Attendance: 282 // Report by Ruth Tunnell

In the past, games at AFC Hornchurch haven’t always been enjoyable affairs for the Stones but thanks to goals from Frannie Collin and Alex Flisher, Maidstone finally got to savour a victory away at the Urchins and climbed the top of the table at the same time.

With just five minutes played, it looked as though the Stones were going to benefit from some uncertain goalkeeping, like they had against Canvey Island on Saturday. Alex Flisher’s long throw reached Steve Watt who got a touch to the ball but Sam Mott was unable to hold onto it and when the rebound came back, Watt lifted the opportunity over the bar.

It was then Lee Worgan’s turn to be involved as he did well to keep the scores level shortly afterwards. Watt headed the ball clear but it was played back towards the area by Frankie Curley who found Junior Luke and his snap shot was heading in until Worgan made a diving save. The ball then broke lose and Dean Pooley came to the Stones’ rescue as he blocked George Purcell’s follow up effort.

But with 18 minutes on the clock, the Stones found themselves leading. Once again a long throw from Flisher was to prove important as he picked out Matt Bodkin who ran forward and drilled the ball across the box. Jack Parkinson managed to get a touch before Frannie Collin swivelled and drove the ball past the helpless Mott.

Toby Joseph then saw a header go close for the home side before Maidstone struck again. James Rogers played a quick free-kick to Tom Mills and his low cross was expertly flicked into the net by Flisher who appears to be revealing in his new found role up front alongside Collin.

The remainder of the first half was largely quiet but just a few minutes after the break, AFC Hornchurch went close to pulling a goal back. Sonny Miles conceded a free-kick out towards the left and close to the box which was taken by Purcell and his left footed curling effort was creeping in under the bar until Worgan got his fingers tips to the ball and diverted it over.

With 62 minutes played, Collin played a decent pass out to Matt Bodkin on the right. Bodkin stepped up the pace and charged into the area where he was brought down by Elliot Styles. Collin took the resultant penalty and although it was well struck, it was pushed away from goal by Mott.

As the game reached the halfway point of the second period, Joseph had an opportunity for the home side but he poked the ball wide of the left hand post when in a good position. Then 13 minutes later, Flisher and James Rogers combined down the left and Flisher did well to make room for a cross. Collin was waiting inside the box but unfortunately Flisher put the ball over his head.

The last decent chance of the match fell to AFC Hornchurch though. Junior Luke kept pushing forwards before he hit a low shot from 20 yards which went just inches wide of the left hand post.

AFC Hornchurch:

Maidstone United: Frannie Collin 18, Alex Flisher 23

AFC Hornchurch: Sam Mott, Phil Starkey, Alex Bentley, Elliot Styles, Omar Beckles, Frankie Curley, Junior Luke, Tom Davis (Elyon Marshall-Katung 64), Toby Joseph (Junior Dadson 73), George Purcell, Chris Bourne. Subs not used: Moses Ashikodi, Frank Griffin, Jamie Hursit.

Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Dean Pooley, Tom Mills, Steve Watt, Sonny Miles, James Rogers, Matt Bodkin, Jack Parkinson, Ben Greenhalgh (Michael Phillips 73), Frannie Collin (Ashley Miller 83), Alex Flisher. Subs not used: Alex Brown, Jamie Coyle, Will Godmon

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