Monday 5 December // Ryman Youth League East // Attendance: 41 // Report by Josh Bailey
Maidstone United U18s extended their lead to six points at the top of the Ryman Youth League East, thanks to a first half goal by Sam Fairweather-Oates.
The game was a slow burner until the 12th minute when Malachi Medley drove down the right-hand side, pulling it back for Sid Warden who, in drawing the defender, found Sam Fairweather-Oates in acres of space and he calmly slotted away into the top of net.
Kingstonian had numerous chances in the first half – their best coming from Ade Adefran, who powered his way through the Maidstone defence, passing across the face of goal to the unmarked Jack Curtis but some outstanding defending by Maidstone saw it hooked away for a throw in.
Just before half time, goalscorer Fairweather-Oates whipped in a fabulous ball across the face of goal to Josh Stirman. Fishing it out the air, Stirman hit it on the bounce, forcing a great save from Kingstonian’s keeper. The ball landed to Sid Warden who blazed it high and wide.
Unlike the first half, the second picked up pace quickly and Toby Goodwin, Kingstonian’s goalkeeper, was called into action yet again to save another shot from Fairweather-Oates at his near post. Immediately after, Maidstone had a strong call for a penalty when Lewis Risk was brought down in the area but the referee awarded an offside against the Stones left back.
Arguably one of the best chances of the game came to Maidstone right back Medley, when a misjudgement by the Kingstonian keeper left him stranded in no man’s land. Scrambling back to his goal the Stones player decided to chip Goodwin from 30 yards but an audacious save saw the ball pushed onto the crossbar.
Maidstone dominated the rest of the game, seeing it out and claiming their fifth victory of the season, with Kingstonian rarely threatening.
The 1-0 victory to Maidstone means they have a six-point cushion going into next week’s crucial game against second place Ashford U18s. While the defeat means Kingstonian remain without a win this season and are still bottom of the table with just a solitary point.
Maidstone United: Sam Fairweather-Oates 12
Maidstone United: Nathan Akhlaq, Malachi Medley, Lewis Risk, Oliver Ferris, John Tumber, Thomas Lindsey, Josh Stirman, Ben Fitchett, Sid Warden, Max Borland, Sam Fairweather-Oates. Subs: James Jeffrey, Beau Landau, Tyler Dockwray, Tommy Taylor
Kingstonian: Toby Goodwin, Emmanuel Folorunso, Ross Summers, Nathan Ackie, Anton Brooks, Nathan Tanner, Dean Broderick, Luke Steeper, Ade Adefran, Jack Curtis, Kailen North. Subs: Owen Coleman, Louie Rayner, Tariq Grant