Tuesday 21 July // Pre-Season Friendly // Attendance: 399 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the third game in a row, Maidstone United registered a win as goals from Joe Healy and Frannie Collin saw them edge out Conference National side Welling United.
The match was notable for the fact that two players – Joe Healy and George Porter – scored against the teams that they had played for last season. And it took just six minutes for the deadlock to be broken.
A corner from Bobby-Joe Taylor out on the right was quickly cleared and the Stones got caught on the break. The ball ended up going through to Porter who got in behind Tom Mills before drilling a neat low finish past Lee Worgan.
Ten minutes after this, a corner from Taylor picked out Jack Parkinson who saw a thumping header fly just over before the Stones equalised on 17 minutes. Welling were unable to clear their lines and with goalkeeper Mike McEntegart on the ground, Joe Healy placed a fine half volley into the left hand side of the goal.
Maidstone quickly had an opportunity to pull in front. Frannie Collin put Alex Akrofi in on goal but his shot was diverted wide. From the resultant corner, Welling once again caught the Stones out and Reece Harris went past Mills with ease only for Callum Driver to get the ball away from the line after Harris’ effort beat Worgan.
With 28 minutes gone, the Stones then had Worgan to thank for keeping the scores level. Ricky Wellard tried to take advantage of a fortuitous deflection which left him with only the Maidstone keeper to beat but the Maidstone keeper made the block.
By now the two sides were taking it in turns to create chances. Taylor exchanged passes with Akrofi before crashing a fierce effort off the bar and then at the other end, Porter sailed past the sliding Parkinson but he was unable to find his way past Worgan who made the save with his legs.
The final action of the half saw Matt Bodkin try to pick out Healy inside the Welling box. Healy appeared to be tripped as he tried to take the ball into space but the referee was in no mood to award a penalty as he felt that Healy had gone to ground too readily.
Not long after the break, Maidstone went in front. With 56 minutes played, Jay Saunders replaced Driver with Alex Brown. Brown’s first action was to pump a free-kick into the box which McEntegart made a hash of and he dropped the ball into the path of Collin who lashed it into an unguarded net.
Shortly after this, Collin conceded a free-kick about 20 yards from goal in a central position as he tried to help out defensively. Zavier Vidal stepped up and hit a swirling shot which Worgan did well to parry. Then ten minutes later, Vidal took another free-kick from slightly further out but this one just cleared the bar.
There after the game became a quieter affair but there was still time for substitute Mitchell Pinnock to go close. With 14 minutes remaining substitute Jack Paxman showed good awareness to switch the play out to Pinnock and his effort from distance just cleared the goal.
Maidstone United: Joe Healy 17, Frannie Collin 56
Welling United: George Porter 6
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Callum Driver (Alex Brown 56), Tom Mills , Steve Watt, Jack Parkinson, James Rogers (Mitchell Pinnock 64), Matt Bodkin (Jack Paxman 64), Joe Healy, Alex Akrofi, Frannie Collin, Bobby Joe-Taylor. Subs not used: Manny Parry, Charley Robertson, Reece Butler Jamie Coyle, Will Godman
Welling United: Mike McEntegart (Lewis Moore 45), Barney Williams (Kojo Awotwei 28), Ben Jefford (Kevin Lokko 72), Harry Osborne, Michael Chambers, Sam Corne (Zac Fagan 50), Zavier Vidal, Ricky Wellard (Nick Brown 64), Tashan Adeyinka, George Porter, Reece Harris (Afolabi Obafemi 64). Subs not used:, James Fitchett, Archie Johnson, Charlie Plummer.