Thursday 4 December // Robert Dyas League Cup Round Three // Attendance: 460 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United’s defence of the Robert Dyas Cup has come to an end after they were comprehensively beaten by Tonbridge Angels.
With the FA Cup Second Round tie less than 48 hours away, Jay Saunders understandably decided not to risk any players who might be involved in the Wrexham fixture and so he fielded a very young and inexperienced side.
This game might have had a different outcome had the Stones taken the early opportunity that fell to them. There were just six minutes played when Harry Williams released Alex Akrofi. Akrofi was under pressure but made room for a shot only for Jack Kelly who was quickly off his line, to smother the ball.
It wasn’t long until Tonbridge threatened though. Flavio Tavares made progress down the right and passed to Cameron Milhan who found Neville Rivelino in space and his effort was heading in until Will Godman intervened with a good block.
Then with a third of the first half gone, Phil Starkey put Akrofi in on goal. Kelly was quick to react again though and he made two saves to deny Akrofi once more.
But by now, the Angels were starting to dominate and on 28 minutes, Tavares found Rivelino who ran down the right side before shooting into the side netting. And not long after this, Rivelino kept persisting out on the same part of the pitch but once again his shot was off target.
With 37 minutes gone, not for the first time during the evening, Tavares caused problems for the Maidstone defence. The winger got in down the left hand side and he pulled the ball back to Royce Greenidge who bent the ball just over the bar.
However, it was no surprise when the Angels did finally open the scoring just before half time. A short corner was given to Tavares who cut inside and he made room for a fine curling effort which crashed into the net off the far right hand post.
The second half carried on in a similar manner with the visitors looking the more likely to score. Jack Brivio managed to get in behind the Maidstone defence only to drag the opportunity wide of the far post but with 66 minutes gone, the Angels doubled their lead. Substitute Jermiele Johnson squared the ball to Rivielino who was lurking near the edge of the six yard box and he finished from close range.
There was then little to note until substitute Craig Lawrence brought down Johnson just as the Tonbridge player was about to shoot. The referee, Mr Bloy, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Gavin Quintyne sent the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Then with the game deep in stoppage time, the Angels rounded off the scoring as they added a fourth goal. This was a similar effort to their second strike of the evening but this time Johnson picked out Gianfranco Mici who side footed the ball past the stranded Godman.
Maidstone United: –
Tonbridge Angels: Flavio Tavares 44, Neville Rivelino 66, Gavin Quintyne 87 (pen), Gianfranco Mici 90.
Maidstone United: Will Godmon, Russell Latter, Matt Rose, Alfie Kitt, Phil Starkey, Aiden Hayes, Stefan Kempton (Connor Hood 88), Charlie Munnery (Craig Lawrence 54), Alex Akrofi, Jack Jeffrey, Harry Williams (Lorenzo Cuozzo 68). Subs not used: Nicky Southall, Sam Reed
Tonbridge Angels: Jack Kelly, Malakai Field, Callum McCarthy, George Craddock, Emmanuel Monthe, Charlie Slocombe, Flavio Tavares (Jermiele Johnson 62), Jack Brivio, Royce Greenidge (Gianfranco Mici 75), Cameron Milham (Gavin Quintyne 55), Neville Rivelino. Subs not used: Jay Prem