Saturday 27 April 2019 // National League //Attendance: 1,929 (176 Aldershot Town supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United’s miserable 2018/19 season has finally drawn to a close in a game which was typical of so many of the others the Stones have taken part in since last August.
This was an uninspiring affair between two teams which have been relegated from the National League. Although Aldershot arguably had more to play for as they secured 21st spot and so will be the first in line for any potential reprieve.
The result means that the Stones have won just nine matches all season. Only three of these have come at the Gallagher Stadium and Maidstone ended up being beaten 16 times at home.
Not only did the Stones have the worst home record in the league but they also finished bottom of the table and 18 points adrift of safety.
Hakan Hayrettin knows what he wants from his side going forwards though: “We have got to regroup and go again and flush it out. We need to get that winning mentality back, desire back, passion back, people who want to work hard without the ball back and people who want to wear the shirt with honour back.
“I am more determined than ever to do that. For a place like Maidstone, to have this amount of support, we need to show them that we care, we are going to work hard for them and that we are going to have a team that they can be proud of.”
The game was punctuated by two moments of magic from Aldershot which won the game for the visitors but it was the Stones who could have taken the lead in this match.
With six minutes gone, Michael Phillips found Blair Turgott who whipped in an inviting cross which Elliott Romain didn’t anticipate and the chance was gone.
Turgott was involved again not long after this. Good work from Justin Amaluzor down the right saw him progress before finding Turgott. Once again Turgott’s delivery into the box was decent and although Romain did make contact this time, Jake Cole did very well to make a save close to his right post.
In the later stages of the first half, there was a warning for the Stones about Matt McClure’s eye for goal. The ball was worked quickly to McClure who took it nicely on the turn and he advanced forwards a few yards before dispatching a shot from distance that went wide.
The early stages of the second half were particularly drab as both teams seemed to struggle with keeping the ball on the pitch for any length of time before Aldershot took the lead on 56 minutes. McClure was allowed to move into space about 20 yards out and he fired a lovely shot past Chris Lewington.
Will De Havilland then did well to stop Scott Rendell from getting on the end of the ball inside the Maidstone six yard box before Elliott Romain threatened to equalise.
The Maidstone striker got a sniff of goal from close to the edge of the box but Cole was quickly off his line and Romain’s shot hit the Aldershot keeper.
This was to be the closest the Stones came to scoring as their season petered out in a whimper but Aldershot finished theirs in style with a delightful goal five minutes from time.
Substitute John Goddard cut the ball back to Bernard Mensah who was probably about 25 yards out and he curled a magnificent finish past Lewington.
Maidstone United: –
Aldershot Town: Matt McClure 56, Bernard Mensah 85
Maidstone United: 26. Chris Lewington, 22. Michael Phillips, 5. Will De Havilland, 25. Rob Swaine, 30. Jarvis Edobor; 24. Josh Taylor, (15. Jake Embrey 60), 21. Ollie Muldoon, 8. Jack Powell; 14. Justin Amaluzor, Elliott Romain, 11. Blair Turgott (32. Charlie Dale 78), Subs not used: 1. Dion-Curtis Henry, 29. Jacob Gilbert, 31. Callum Rollings.
Aldershot Town: 1. Jake Cole, 12. Dominic Bernard, 6. George Elokobi, 22. Rollin Menayese, 3. Lewis Kinsella (4. Adam McDonnell 78), 8. Luke Howell, 16. Jake Gallagher (14. James Rowe 57), 17. Regan Booty (26. John Goddard 57), 20. Bernard Mensah, 9. Scott Rendell, 10. Matt McClure. Subs not used: 25. Reece Grant, 27. Ryan Hall.