Saturday 11 July // Pre-Season Friendly // Attendance: 641 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United’s pre-season campaign has got underway with a narrow defeat against League Two side Dagenham and Redbridge.
The game was an opportunity for Jay Saunders to introduce some of his new summer signings with Callum Driver, Manny Parry, Bobby-Joe Taylor, Joe Healy and Mitchell Pinnock all starting the match.
The Stones strung together a neat move with just six minutes gone. Steve Watt played the ball out from the back to Pinnock and he found Healy who picked out Taylor on the right. Taylor then cut inside and into the box before curling a shot just over the bar.
Parry then conceded a free-kick just outside the box. Jamie Cureton, who has Premier League experience, stepped up to take the free-kick and his low effort went wide of the left hand post.
Dagenham then had a spell where they kept possession nicely. On 15 minutes Ashley Hemmings put a searching ball into the box which was intended for Cureton but Watt managed to get his head to it and he put the ball just side of the left hand post for a corner.
Ten minutes later, Jodi Jones’ free-kick drew a diving save from Lee Worgan who managed to push the ball wide. But this was to be the last serious goalmouth action of the first half even though the Stones did look dangerous going forwards at times.
The second half was a little more disjointed which was to be expected with a number of changes on the pitch. With 52 minutes gone, Hemmings crossed for Ashley Chambers whose diving header went into the side netting.
But with an hour gone, Chambers was involved again as Dagenham grabbed the winning goal. This time it was Chambers crossing the ball and Christian Doidges’ header had just enough power to beat Worgan despite the Maidstone keeper coming close to making the save.
Then four minutes later, Doidge had an opportunity to stretch the Daggers’ lead. The ball came to him in a central position inside the box and he blasted the opportunity straight at Worgan.
The game began to peter out in the closing stages and the closest Maidstone came to equalising was on 73 minutes. Second half substitute Simon Johnson unleashed a powerful shot from quite some distance from goal but it fizzed just wide of the left hand post.
Maidstone United: –
Dagenham and Redbridge: Christian Doidge 60
Maidstone United First Half: Lee Worgan, Callum Driver, Tom Mills, Steve Watt, Manny Parry, James Rogers, Bobby-Joe Taylor, Jack Paxman, Joe Healy, Frannie Collin, Mitchell Pinnock.
Maidstone United Second Half: Lee Worgan, Scott Heard, Tom Mills (Reece Butler 61), Steve Watt (Alfie Kitt 61), Manny Parry, Simon Johnson, Alex Brown, Charley Robertson, Jay May, Alex Akrofi, Mitchell Pinnock. Subs not used: Will Godmon
Dagenham and Redbridge First Half: Liam O’Brien, Joe Widdowson, Nyron Nosworthy, Matt Partridge, Ashley Hemmings, Jodi Jones, Jamie Cureton, Ashley Chambers, Josh Passley, Lewis Montrose, Matt Richards. Subs not used: Jack Connors, Ian Gayle, Frankie Raymond, Christian Doidge, Ben Frimpah, Gus Mafuta, Kadell Daniel, Lewis Moore.