Tuesday 15 August // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 2,524 (367 Aldershot fans) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
An equaliser five minutes into stoppage time of this enthralling encounter from Josh Hare, gave Maidstone their second point of the season as they ended Aldershot’s 100% record.
After consecutive defeats at Ebbsfleet United and Leyton Orient, Jay Saunders once again changed things around in defence. Josh Hare moved out to right back as Magnus Okuonghae came in for his first start of the season and up front, Delano Sam-Yorke moved up to be alongside Joe Pigott.
And these alterations seemed to make Maidstone seem assured early on. With 11 minutes gone, Joe Pigott spun past Callum Reynolds in midfield and set off on a run. He got into the box but was forced wide by Nick Arnold who managed to take the pace of Pigott’s shot allowing Jake Cole in the Aldershot goal to gather the ball.
And seconds later, Maidstone had an even better opportunity as what turned out to be a lively first half gathered pace. The ball came into Jai Reason who was just inside the box and he tried to place his shot inside the right hand post as he turned but he put the ball wide.
Aldershot then pushed the Stones back as the visitors began to increase the tempo. The eye-catching James Rowe was involved in a move which saw the ball come into Matt McClure but Lee Worgan was quickly off his line to snuff out the danger.
Jim Kellermann then went close with a rising drive from just outside the box before Worgan made an exceptional save. Rowe played the ball down the right to Shamir Fenelon who whipped in a decent cross which was met by McClure who seemed certain to score but he was denied from point blank range as somehow Worgan pushed the ball over the bar.
A corner from Rowe picked out Will DeHavilland whose glancing header at the near post didn’t miss by much. Then Rowe was involved yet again when he took a couple of paces forward and hit a fierce effort from close to the area but once more, Worgan made another fine save to push the ball over.
Having been under pressure for a reasonable spell, Maidstone could have hit back by taking the lead on 32 minutes. Pigott backheeled the ball to Reason who put an enticing ball across the six yard box but Delano Sam-Yorke couldn’t finish from close range and Cole managed to get the ball clear.
Aldershot immediately broke up the other end. Former Stones player Bobby-Joe Taylor picked up possession and sent a 30 yard screamer inches wide of the right hand post.
Then with the game in first half stoppage time, Maidstone lost possession from a throw deep in the Aldershot half allowing the Shots to race forwards quickly. Taylor put a low cross in from the left which Rowe threw himself at but his header went flying across the six yard box and just wide.
The second half continued at a fast pace. Ten minutes in, McClure made room for a low effort from just inside the box and this time, Worgan made the save with his feet.
And not long after this, it was Cole’s turn to shine in goal for Aldershot. Pigott’s free-kick from just outside the area towards the left threatened to creep in under the bar but Cole managed to divert it over.
The Shots went even closer on 67 minutes. Cheye Alexander found Kellermann and as he turned, he hit a drive which smacked the cross bar.
Shortly after this, Pigott timed his run to beat the normally well drilled Aldershot offside trap. He pulled the ball back to Sam-Yorke who was waiting inside the six yard box but Sam-Yorke’s effort wasn’t strong enough and Cole managed to make the save. Then seconds later, Sam-Yorke picked up the ball just outside the box and his low drive went inches wide.
But after so much action at both ends, the deadlock was finally broken on 76 minutes. Substitute Jake Gallagher had only been on the pitch three minutes when he timed his run to latch onto a ball 16 yards from goal and he drilled the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Four minutes into stoppage time, Sam-Yorke got into space out towards the right but he was under pressure and he rushed his shot which he blazed into the stand behind the goal. However, Maidstone didn’t give up. With the game in its dying seconds, Worgan was pushed forwards following a corner and he played the ball to Reason who crossed from the left and into a crowed penalty area where Hare reacted quickest to get the vital touch and find the back of the net.
Maidstone United: Josh Hare 90
Aldershot Town: Jake Gallagher 76
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 2. Josh Hare, 6. Magnus Okuonghae, 5. Alex Wynter, 13. Joe Anderson, 10. Jack Paxman (21. Harry Phipps 81), 4. Reece Prestedge, 14. Jai Reason, 9. Delano Sam-Yorke, 32. Joe Pigott, 11. Tom Wraight (23. Jack Richards 78). Subs not used: 16. Seth Nana-Twumasi, 17. Harley Willard, 20. Tommy Taylor.
Aldershot Town: 1. Jake Cole, 3. Cheye Alexander, 12. Will DeHavilland, 22. Callum Reynolds 2. Nick Arnold, 8. Manny Oyeleke, 17. Jim Kellermann (16. Jake Gallagher 73), 18. James Rowe, 27. Bobby-Joe Taylor (20. Chris Arnold 85), 10. Matt McClure (14. Shaun Okojie 73), 7. Shamir Fenelon. Subs not used: 15. Codi Lyons-Foster, 25. Mark Smith.
Who was your Man of the Match against Aldershot Town?
- Lee Worgan (67%, 242 Votes)
- Josh Hare (18%, 64 Votes)
- Joe Pigott (4%, 15 Votes)
- Alex Wynter (3%, 10 Votes)
- Reece Prestedge (2%, 6 Votes)
- Jai Reason (1%, 5 Votes)
- Magnus Okuonghae (1%, 5 Votes)
- Jack Richards (1%, 4 Votes)
- Joe Anderson (1%, 3 Votes)
- Delano Sam-Yorke (1%, 3 Votes)
- Harry Phipps (1%, 2 Votes)
- Tom Wraight (0%, 1 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 361