Tuesday 18 April // Kent Invitational Cup Semi Final // Report by Adrian Swan
Maidstone United Youth from the Ryman Youth League eased past a young Bromley ‘B’ Youth side from the Kent Youth League in the semi final of the KYL Invitational Cup (formerly known as the John Ullmann).
This match was played on the main ground at Bromley where the pitch was showing signs of wear and despite having been watered by the groundsman was still rather bumpy which didn’t help either side with their passing game. The contest was an attritional affair with Maidstone probing throughout the first half but with little success against a resilient home defence.
Bromley had an early chance on four minutes when Adam Bamroffe’s right wing cross was turned just wide by a stretching Deshon Carty but this to be their only chance in the first half.
The visitors went close to opening their account on 23 minutes when Sidney Warden whipped in a free kick from wide left that saw Bromley keeper Tiwa Fujimade come off his line to punch clear but Lucas Murrain managed to get to the ball before him but his back header flew narrowly over the bar.
Just before half time Maidstone went close again when Murrain hit a fierce shot that took a wicked deflection off a Bromley defender, wrong footing Fujimade who was going to his left as the ball flew right and narrowly wide for a corner.
The last chance of the first half saw Stones substitute James O’Halloran get through on goal but his low shot was well saved by Fujimade diving full length to his right to turn the ball out for a corner.
The visitors continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and almost scored on 48 minutes when a Sam Fairweather-Oates left wing cross was spilt by Fujimade back to the Stones full back but his hooked shot hit Fujimade’s right hand post and bounced out to safety.
On 50 minutes Murrain fired in a long range shot that the busy Bromley keeper saved diving low to his left before he was in action again a minute later when Max Borland’s pull back from wide right found Ben Fitchett on the edge of the box but his low drive was well saved by Fujimade diving to his left.
Unfortunately for the home side Fujimade then dropped another Fairweather-Oates left wing cross which fell to Warden who although initially was forced away from goal he turned well and fired home low to the right of the Bromley keeper. On 58 minutes it was two when Fitchett’s excellent through ball was clinically dispatched by Josh Stirman low to the left of Fujimade.
Another good through ball from the influential Fitchett almost led to the Stones increasing their lead on 75 minutes when Tom Barton latched onto his pass but Fujimade was quickly off his line to make a good block. The rebound fell to O’Halloran who rounded the prone Bromley keeper but from an acute angle on the left he hit his shot into the side netting.
On 80 minutes it might have been three but for the strong wind blowing down the ground as Warden’s ball over the Bromley back line found the run of Barton, who spotting Fujimade coming off his line, lobbed the on-rushing Bromley keeper only for the ball to hold up in the wind enabling Fujimade to back track and catch the ball in front of his goal.
However on 85 minutes the Stones missed a great chance to make it three when Malachi Medley’s right wing cross picked out an unmarked Borland who swept the ball wide from close range.
Maidstone now await the winners of the other semi final which is due to take place next week between Tooting & Mitcham and Bromley ‘A’.
Maidstone United: Thomas Taylor, Lewis Scotter, Sam Fairweather-Oates, Ben Fitchett, Jonathan Tumber, Tyler Dockwray, Josh Stirman, Darren Cooper, Lucas Murrain, Sidney Warden, Max Borland. Subs: Malachi Medley, Tom Barton, Dale Ashman, James O’Halloran, Nathan Akhlaq