Vanarama National League // Saturday 4 August // Attendance: 2,599 // Report courtesy of KentOnline
Maidstone drew with Hartlepool in an entertaining season opener at the Gallagher.
The dangerous Blair Turgott gave United a first-half lead from the penalty spot.
They were pegged by Liam Noble a minute later but their fitness looked good in searing heat and they could count themselves unlucky not to pinch victory late on.
he tempo was pretty good from both sides given the 30-degree heat, with the visitors shading a decent first half.
Noble looked particularly good in possession as Pools put several balls in behind the Maidstone defence for the dangerous Jake Cassidy to run on to.
The Pools striker had an opening inside four minutes after good work by Luke James but Lee Worgan made the block.
Maidstone got Jamar Loza in on goal shortly before the quarter-hour mark but Carl Magnay snuffed out the chance.
That was the Stones’ clearest chance before taking the lead in the 41st minute.
Muir was penalised for a high boot on Muldoon – Pools felt the Stones midfielder’s head was low – and Turgott sent Scott Loach the wrong way from the spot.
The lead lasted just a minute with the ball breaking to Noble after a strong run by James and he found the bottom corner.
Michael Phillips put an injury-time header over the bar from a Turgott cross while Cassidy went through from a Noble pass but couldn’t beat Worgan.
Muir flashed a first-time strike just wide after Donaldson flew down the right and fed James early in the second half.
Stones went close when Quigley’s bullet header was blocked on the line while Seth Nana Twumasi’s 30-yard drive went narrowly over.
At the other end, Lewis got in the way of Peter Kioso’s volley which was heading for the bottom corner.
Maidstone enjoyed a good spell midway through the second half, Lewis and Muldoon to the fore,
Loach made a double save to keep the Stones at bay with just over 10 minutes left, the second from Twumasi after a lovely run and strike by the right-back.
Substitute Shamir Mullings was then denied a tap-in by a superb a piece of defending by Magnay to cut out Turgott’s cross as Maidstone finished strongly.
Maidstone United: Blair Turgott 41 (pen)
Hartlepool United: Lee Noble 42
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 3. George McLennan, 5. Will De Havilland, 6. Alex Finney, 8. Stuart Lewis ©, 9. Joe Quigley (15. Shamir Mullings 69), 11. Blair Turgott, 14. Jamar Loza, 16. Seth Nana Twumasi, 21. Ollie Muldoon (4. Jordan Wynter 90), 22. Michael Phillips (10. Jack Paxman 62), Subs not used: 2. Michee Efete, 23. Jack Richards
Who was your man of the match against Hartlepool United?
- Blair Turgott (25%, 39 Votes)
- Alex Finney (15%, 24 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (15%, 23 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (14%, 22 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (6%, 9 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (6%, 9 Votes)
- Jamar Loza (5%, 8 Votes)
- George McLennan (5%, 8 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (4%, 6 Votes)
- Joe Quigley (3%, 4 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (2%, 3 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (1%, 1 Votes)
- Shamir Mullings (1%, 1 Votes)
- Jordan Wynter (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 158