aturday 21 March // Ryman League Premier Division // Attendance: 643 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
A superb header from Steve Watt as he met an excellent corner from Frannie Collin made sure that the Stones came away from Leatherhead with a point as Maidstone stretched their unbeaten run to five matches.
The Tanners are one of the form teams in the Ryman Premier Division at the moment so this was always going to be a test for the Stones and Leatherhead worked very hard and never allowed Maidstone much space. Neither side created many chances either as the two teams cancelled each other for long periods of the game.
One of Maidstone’s few opportunities came on 13 minutes. Matt Bodkin did well down the right and he played the ball back across the edge of the area where it came to Jay May. The Maidstone striker leaned back though as he hit a side footed shot and his effort went well over the bar.
Vasileios Karagiannis then went close with a half volley for the home side from just outside the box before Leatherhead edged in front with 31 minutes gone. Maidstone rushed a free-kick and the ball ended up going back to James Rogers who was in a defensive position. Unfortunately for the Stones, Rogers got caught in possession by Karagiannis who raced towards goal before dispatching a confident finish past Lee Worgan.
Two minutes before the break, Maidstone came close to equalising. Bodkin crossed from the right and it went through to Jay May whose header was creeping in until the Leatherhead keeper, Louis Wells, made a decent save.
However, just moments later, the Stones did draw level. Collin sent over a decent delivery from a corner on the Maidstone right and his cross was met by Watt who sent a thumping header flying into the net.
The second half was relatively quiet and Maidstone never really tested Wells. On 53 minutes, May was fouled outside the box by Jerry Nnamani and Collin stepped up to take the free-kick which he curled into the hands of Wells.
Meanwhile, Worgan was only called into serious action once in the second period. Just past the hour, Karagiannis managed to trick his way into space and from distance, he unleashed a fierce shot which Worgan did very well to push up into the air before claiming the rebound.
Then with 71 minutes gone, a throw from Tom Mills ended up being put back into the box by Bodkin. Neither Collin nor May could get a shot away as they were closed down quickly and when the ball broke lose, Jack Parkinson’s weak shot throw a crowd was comfortably stopped by Wells.
There after, Leatherhead enjoyed some decent periods of possession as the game moved towards full time but neither side was able to make the crucial break through to claim all three points.
Leatherhead: Vasileios Karagiannis 31
Maidstone United: Steve Watt 45
Leatherhead: Louis Wells, Belvia Kah Dembele, Adam Green, Matt Smart, Joe Bruce, Jerry Nnamani, Richard Avery, Paul Semakula, Phil Page (Mark Nwokeji 66), Kiernan Hughes-Mason (Stacy Long 86), Vasileios Karagiannis (Josh Gallagher 87).Subs not used: Carl Rook, Ryan Mahal.
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Craig Stone, Tom Mills, Steve Watt (Jamie Coyle 79), Shane Huke, James Rogers, Matt Bodkin, Jack Parkinson, Jay May, Frannie Collin, George Porter (Ben Greenhalgh 71). Subs not used: Billy Bricknell, Alex Brown, Will Godmon.