Tuesday 21 November // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 1,970 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the third league game in a row, Maidstone United have been beaten as this time high flying Dagenham and Redbridge took all three points at the Gallagher Stadium.
The result means that the Stones have now won on just two occasions in the National League since the end of September although manager Jay Saunders will be heartened by the fact that the performance against Dagenham was much improved from that versus Woking at the weekend.
Just like on Saturday, the Stones had the best of the early chances. With 10 minutes gone, Bobby-Joe Taylor found Jamar Loza who cut inside into space only to drill his shot wide of the right hand post.
A corner from Taylor was then met by Kevin Lokko who saw his header flash wide before Alex Flisher was tripped just outside the box by Scott Doe. Taylor took the resultant free-kick which caused Elliot Justham to scramble across goal and push the ball wide for a corner which Taylor also took. The Maidstone wide man’s delivery was met by Jamie Coyle whose header was on target but it was blocked and when it rebounded, Flisher saw his half volley fly just wide.
But then as had happened against Woking on Saturday, the Stones suddenly found themselves trailing with 26 minutes gone. The Maidstone defence seemed to get caught by a quick throw from Joe Widdowson which came to Corey Whitely. Whitely then pulled the ball back into the middle to Luke Guttridge who smashed in a fierce shot which appeared to take a slight deflection off Coyle.
Not long past the half hour mark, the ball came to Jordan Maguire-Drew out on the right. He turned past Tom Mills and sent over a cross which was met by Oliver Hawkins and Lee Worgan claimed his header at the second attempt.
As the half time interval approached, it was then the Stones’ turn to go close to scoring. A free-kick from Taylor was only partially cleared by the Dagenham defence and the ball came to Jack Paxman who arrowed the ball towards the inside of the right hand post but Justham did well to get down and concede a corner.
Loza then found the side netting with an early shot following a long ball forward from Mills and then Mills was involved again at the other end. This time Maguire-Drew danced round both Mills and then Paxman before getting a shot away which Dan Sweeney threw himself at and he managed to deflect the ball over the bar.
The Stones didn’t let the interval disrupt their momentum. Early on in the second half a good clearance from Lokko was flicked into Flisher’s path by Loza. Flisher elected to shoot as soon as he neared the box and his effort sailed into the car park behind the Town End.
A good sweeping move involving most of Maidstone’s midfield ended with Taylor finding Mills who had made a run down the left. Mills tried to send the ball back into the middle of the box but Jimmy Shepherd intercepted it and he was fortunate not to see it creep inside the post thanks to the swift actions of Justham.
Then seconds later, Paxman slid into dispossess Josh Staunton. At the same time, he put Loza in down the left and Loza ran into the box before seeing his shot blocked by the legs of Justham.
As the second half wore on, Dagenham had two excellent chances to stretch their lead. The first came when Sheppherd played the ball into Whitely down the right. Despite the fact that Whitely was surrounded by both Mills and Loza, he still got in a cross which somehow Maguire-Drew headed over the bar when well placed. Then on 73 minutes, the ball came to the unmarked Frankie Raymond who hit a casual curling effort which came back off the bar.
With the game in its final moments, Whitely found Maguire-Drew who was in a central position in the box. Maguire-Drew struck a rising shot which was destined for the net until Worgan intervened with a stunning save to tip the ball over the bar.
Then with the game in stoppage time, the final chance fell to the Stones. Lokko headed the ball back to Coyle who was about 25 yards from goal and his half volley went over the bar.
Maidstone United: –
Dagenham and Redbridge: Luke Guttridge 26
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 22. Seth Nana Twumasi, 5. Kevin Lokko, 4. Jamie Coyle, 3. Tom Mills, 6. James Rogers (23. Yemi Odubade 75), 8. Dan Sweeney, 10. Jack Paxman, 16. Bobby-Joe Taylor (24. Liam Enver-Marum 84), 25. Jamar Loza (9. Bradley Hudson-Odoi 80), 11. Alex Flisher. Subs not used:, 12. Jack Evans, 17. Ben Greenhalgh.
Dagenham and Redbridge: 1. Elliot Justham, 23. Jimmy Shepherd, 4. Scott Doe (14. Paul Benson 45), 32. Josh Staunton, 3. Joe Widdowson, 15. Jordan Maguire-Drew, 8. Frankie Raymond, 17. Andre Boucaud, 25. Corey Whitley, 10. Luke Guttridge, 12. Oliver Hawkins. Subs not used: 30. Mark Cousins, 9. Christian Assombalonga, 21. Scott Heard, 20. Tyrique Hyde.
Who was your man of the match against Dagenham & Redbridge?
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (28%, 25 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (19%, 17 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (13%, 12 Votes)
- Tom Mills (11%, 10 Votes)
- Kevin Lokko (7%, 6 Votes)
- Dan Sweeney (7%, 6 Votes)
- Jamar Loza (6%, 5 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (3%, 3 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (2%, 2 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (1%, 1 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (1%, 1 Votes)
- Liam Enver-Marum (1%, 1 Votes)
- James Rogers (0%, 0 Votes)
- Bradley Hudson-Odoi (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 89