Pre-season friendly // Attendance: 547 // Friday 20 July // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the first time this pre-season, the Stones have been defeated as they lost to a strong Billericay Town side who had won promotion to the National League South back in April.
Based on this showing, the Blues will be pushing for back to back promotions come the end of the forthcoming season and they looked the more likely of the two sides to score early on. With five minutes gone, Sam Deering found Simon Walton who shot through a crowd and his effort was blocked inside the six yard box. The Blues then had a finish from Dean Inman ruled out for a handball in the build up before they took the lead with a decent header from Adam Coombes on 12 minutes.
The Stones began to enjoy more possession after this and they could have levelled when a long ball into the box was latched onto by Jamar Loza. Loza’s first touch to bring the ball under control was excellent but Louis Wells came quickly out of his goal, and Loza’s attempted lob didn’t clear the Billericay keeper.
Just before the half hour mark, Blair Turgott cut in from the left and curled the ball just over the bar. Then a neat move involving Turgott and George McLennan eventually saw the ball come to Loza who was in a good position inside the area and he drove his effort over the bar.
Not long after the break, Ollie Muldoon went close with a shot that was going to creep in until Wells did well to tip it over the bar. And soon after this, Lee Worgan had to make a similar save from Inman who had let fly from out on the right.
Inman was then involved again on 66 minutes when he doubled Billericay’s lead. Seth Nana Twumasi was adjudged to have fouled Jake Howells and Jamie O’Hara’s free-kick into the box was met by the unmarked Inman who powered his header past Worgan.
Seven minutes from time, Billericay made sure of the win before the Stones grabbed a consolation goal just 60 seconds later. A mistake from Jordan Wynter allowed substitute Moses Emmanuelle to spin into space and into the box and with Worgan slipping over as he came away from his line, Emmanuelle finished confidently.
Maidstone were soon awarded a corner which Turgott swung into the box and it dropped just in front of substitute Andre Coker who stabbed the ball in from close range. And the final meaningful action of the evening saw Joe Quigley’s low drive tipped onto his left post by Wells.
Maidstone United: Andre Coker 84
Billericay Town: Adam Coombes 12, Dean Inman 66, Moses Emmanuelle 83
Maidstone United first half line up: 1. Lee Worgan, 3. George McLennan, 4. Jordan Wynter, 6. Alex Finney, 8. Stuart Lewis, 9. Joe Quigley, 11. Blair Turgott, 12. Michee Efete (16. Seth Nana Twumasi 60), 14. Jamar Loza (7. Andre Coker 73), 21. Ollie Muldoon (10. Jack Paxman 78), 22. Michael Phillips (15. Shamir Mullings 67). Subs not used: 23. Jack Richards, 5. Will De Havilland, Elliott Capel, Jake Hallet, Jordy Robins.
Billericay Town: 1. Louis Wells, 2. Joe Kizzi, 3. Calum Kennedy, 4. Ben Gerring, 5. Dean Inman, 6. Sam Deering (12. Jamie O’Hara 45), 7. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (17. Connor Hunte 59 (20. Rikky Hayles 64)), 8. Simon Walton (15. Rikky Modeste 45), 9. Jake Robinson (15. Moses Emmanuelle 45), 10. Adam Coombes (14. Adam Cunnington 59), 11. Jake Howells. Subs not used: 18. Tamberson Eyong, 19. Danny Waldren, 21. Scott Doe, 13. Josh Strizovic.