Tuesday 28 October // Kent Senior Cup // Attendance: 455 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the second game in a row, the Stones have enjoyed cup success against higher league opposition.
After Saturday’s victory over Conference side Welling in the FA Cup, Maidstone turned their attentions to knocking out Conference South side Bromley from the Kent Senior Cup.
The home side were strong with a number of players in the line up who are regulars in the first team squad but with so many important games coming up for the Stones, Jay Saunders unsurprisingly made wholesale changes to the side that have done so well for Maidstone in recent weeks.
Only Jamie Coyle remained from the team that had begun the match on Saturday although both Bradley Jordan and Alex Brown, who have been frequently involved as substitutes for Maidstone were handed starts.
There was little to note until the Stones took the lead with 22 minutes on the clock. Bradley Jordan crossed from the left and Mark Lovell was on hand to head the ball past the stranded Seb Brown in the Bromley goal.
Not long after this, the visitors broke rapidly from a corner. Ben Greenhalgh carried the ball a long way forwards and Jordan arrived to his left as he neared the edge of the box but Greenhalgh elected to shoot and his effort fizzed just over the bar.
It wasn’t until 37 minutes had gone that Will Godman was properly tested. Mitchell Pinnock let fly from outside the box and Godman had to dive to his left to smother the ball. Then shortly afterwards, Coyle missed his header in the box and Adam Birchall got a shot away but the ball was partially blocked and went behind for a corner.
The home side improved significantly after the break but not only were they frequently thwarted by the excellent Godman in the Maidstone goal, but even when they might have beaten the Stones’ keeper they still managed to miss their chances.
Shortly after the break, Maidstone survived a penalty scare when Bromley appealed loudly for what they felt was a handball inside the box. Then on 69 minutes, substitute Louis Dennis’ corner was met by fellow substitute Jordan Robertson whose header was going in until Godman intervened and pushed the ball behind. Dennis once again put another corner into the box and it eventually dropped to Callum McNaughton who was well placed but he lifted the ball over the bar.
Godman was called into action again moments later when this time he found himself one on one with Dennis and once more, he made a fine stop. But Bromley quickly attacked again and on 74 minutes, the ball fell to Reece Prestedge who was just yards from goal but he wasted the opportunity and blasted the chance over the bar.
Late on, Dennis gave the ball to Duncan Culley who was left with only Godman to beat and this time the Maidstone keeper stuck out a leg to divert his shot away from goal. Unfortunately for Godman though, he was unable to keep the clean sheet his performance had warranted as just two minutes from time, Ademola found Dennis who fired in a low shot into the right hand side of the net.
In the final moments, Bromley looked the more likely of the two sides to nick a winner. First of all, Mitchell Pinnock’s effort deflected inches wide from Dennis’ corner and then deep in stoppage time, substitute Pierre Jospeph-Dubois saw a shot deflect just off target but the Ravens couldn’t find a way through and so the game went to penalties.
It was the Stones who went first in the shoot out and Alex Akrofi put the ball over the bar. Godman then made a diving save to deny Waldren before substitute Nicky Southall gave Maidstone the lead by placing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Dennis was next up for the Ravens but he sent his penalty over the bar before Tom Mackleden extended the Stones’ lead. Bromley did respond through Moses and Pinnock but successful spot kicks from Jordan and Mark Lovell were enough to give Maidstone a 4-2 win on penalties.
Bromley: Louis Dennis 88
Maidstone United: Mark Lovell 22
Bromley penalty scorers: Moses Ademola, Mitchell Pinnock
Maidstone United penalty scorers: Nicky Southall, Tom Mackleden, Bradley Jordan, Mark Lovell
Bromley: Seb Brown, Ugo Udoji (Louis Dennis 57), Joe Anderson, Danny Waldren, Callum McNaughton, Adam Bailey-Dennis (Pierre Jospeph-Dubois 45), Paul Rogers, Reece Prestedge, Duncan Culley, Adam Birchall (Moses Ademola 66), Mitchell Pinnock. Subs not used: Jordan Robertson.
Maidstone United: Will Godman, Aaron Simpson, Alfie Kitt, Richard Davies, Jamie Coyle, Alex Brown (Nicky Southall 87), Ben Greenhalgh, Bradley Jordan, Mark Lovell, Liam King (Tom Mackleden 45), Alex Akrofi. Subs not used: Charlie Munnery, Aiden Hayes, Tyler McCarthy.