Monday 6 April // Ryman League Premier Division // Attendance: 2,137 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Two goals from Jay May gave the Stones a comfortable victory over mid table Peacehaven and Telscombe as Maidstone made sure they kept alive their title ambitions.
May has been in excellent form for Maidstone in recent weeks. The target man is now the club’s leading scorer with 20 league goals with eight of them have coming in the past eight matches. And it took just four minutes for him to get on the score sheet against the Magpies when he dispossessed Sebastian Saunders and did well to pick his way to the edge of the area before slotting the ball inside the left hand post.
May then put Billy Bricknell away down the left. The Maidstone striker was under pressure as he neared the box and he elected for an early shot which went wide of the right hand post.
The Stones continued dominate and on 10 minutes, a corner from Matt Bodkin picked out the unmarked Jack Parkinson who was near the far post. Parkinson’s header didn’t have enough power to cause any problems and when the ball came back out, Shane Huke hooked his shot wide of the right hand post.
Bodkin then had a good chance to extend Maidstone’s lead. Anthony Di Bernardo miscontrolled a back pass and so it fell to Bodkin who drilled the ball wide of the right hand post when well placed.
It wasn’t until past the mid way point of the first half that Peacehaven had an opportunity. The visitors hit the Stones on the break and Jon Marzetti crossed from the right but Jamie Brotherton’s stabbed effort looped well over the bar.
Then with 28 minutes gone, Maidstone doubled their lead. A free-kick from Bodkin was touched on by Watt and it dropped to Bricknell who saw his shot well blocked by Di Bernardo in the Peachaven goal. Di Bernardo could do nothing to prevent the ball flying back up into the air though and May did well to get his head to it and send it over the Magpies’ keeper.
Shortly afterwards, the Stones could have pulled further ahead. May put Bodkin in down the right and the Maidstone winger did well to beat two players and move into space inside the area before he shot straight at Di Bernardo.
Just after the break, Maidstone were loose in possession in midfield. Peacehaven moved the ball forwards quickly and a mistake from Shane Huke let in Tom Burton. Burton only had Lee Worgan to beat but Worgan came off his line quickly and Burton poked the ball wide of the right hand post.
Shortly afterwards, it was then the home side’s turn to fail to take advantage of a one on one situation with the keeper. This time George Porter passed to May who slipped an excellent pass into the area to leave Bricknell facing Di Bernardo and Di Bernardo made the block.
Just past the hour, Jack Mclean’s cross came to Jamie Brotherton whose shot looked to be going in until Craig Stone did well to take some pace off the ball. And as it threatened to spin back, Worgan managed to turn the ball behind to concede a corner.
A neat move from Maidstone then ended with Bricknell finding Tom Mills who had made a surging run down the left but Mills’ drive was turned behind at the near post by Ash Jones. And then another fine ball into the box picked out substitute Frannie Collin who was denied by another good block from Di Bernardo.
Two minutes before the end Peacehaven nearly set up a nervy finish. McClean went flying past Mills down the right and picked out Brotherton. Brotherton’s side footed shot was on target but Worgan made a good save before the Maidstone keeper stopped Brotherton from the rebound as well.
With the game in stoppage time, a free-kick from Parkinson went out to Collin on the right. Collin picked out May with a low cross in the box but unfortunately for May he was unable to complete his hat-trick and Di Bernardo made a diving stop.
Then the final action of the game saw Huke pick out Collin. Collin moved forwards and unleashed a low drive from the edge of the box which Di Bernardo did well to turn behind but there was no time left for Maidstone to take the corner.
Maidstone United: Jay May 4, 28
Peacehaven and Telscombe: –
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Craig Stone, Tom Mills, Steve Watt, Shane Huke, James Rogers (Alex Brown 68), Matt Bodkin, Jack Parkinson, Jay May, Billy Bricknell (Frannie Collin 76), George Porter (Jack Paxman 73). Subs not used: Sonny Miles, Will Godman.
Peacehaven and Telscombe: Anthony Di Bernardo, Jon Marzetti, Dan Bolwell, James Hammond (Jordan Stubbings 55), Ash Jones, Steve Metcalf, Jack Mclean, Lloyd Cotton (Aston Mclennan 82) Jamie Brotherton, Tom Burton, Sebastian Saunders. Subs not used: Callum Sheriff, Jason Deacon.