Maidstone United 0 – 2 Braintree Town // National League South // Match report by Ruth Tunnell // 19 January 2021
After back to back victories in the past week, Maidstone United’s mini good run of form was brought to an end by Braintree Town who claimed their second victory in six matches to move up to 19th place in the table.
The Stones changed things around in defence with Gavin Hoyte moved to centre half alongside George Elokobi. Charlie Seaman was put in at right back and new loan signing Jaydn Mundle-Smith started in the equivalent position on the left.
Unfortunately for the Stones, Braintree were the stronger of the two sides in the first half and they went in at the break with a two goal advantage. There was an early warning for Maidstone on eight minutes when Matthew Johnson’s long throw into the box was met by Ryan Scott and his header did not miss by much.
The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes. Mundle-Smith brought Johnville Renee down just outside the area and Arjanit Krasniqi curled a delightful free-kick around the wall and past Ravan Constable.
Maidstone’s only notable chance of the half came when Scott Rendell managed to squeeze the ball into George Porter. Porter was off balance as he got a shot away and Jack Gidders did well to make the block.
Rendell was soon involved again. With 31 minutes played another long throw from Johnson into the box caused the Stones problems as this time it struck the unfortunate Rendell and looped into the net.
Maidstone improved after the break and applied some early pressure. The best of the opportunities that the Stones created during this time came on 48 minutes when substitute Ibrahim Olutade, on for Saidou Khan, latched onto a low ball forward. Olutade entered the box but Gidders was swiftly off his line and he got in the way of Olutade’s effort before the ball was cleared.
Mundle-Smith then saw a weak header comfortably held by Gidders before a free-kick from Seaman was deflected over the bar. Then on 69 minutes, the introduction of Christie Pattison for Justin Amaluzor gave the Stones fresh impetus. Pattison hadn’t been on the pitch long when he put a low ball into Sam Corne who turned and fired over.
Pattison continued to look bright and he did well to move into space and dig out a cross towards the back post where Porter was lurking. Porter perhaps had more time than he realised and his effort went over the bar.
With 12 minutes remaining, it was Pattison himself who went close to halving the deficit. He got in on goal but once again, Glidders was smartly off his line and the Iron keeper did well to get a feint touch and ensure the ball went behind for a corner.
Deep in stoppage time, Olutade hit the post for the Stones but Braintree held firm to claim a deserved victory.
Maidstone United: –
Braintree Town: Arjanit Krasniqi 18, Scott Rendell 31 (O.G.)
Maidstone United:16. Ravan Constable, 5. Charlie Seaman, 2. Gavin Hoyte, 6. George Elokobi, 3. Jaydn Mundle-Smith, 8. Sam Corne, 18. Saidou Khan (10. Ibrahim Olutade 45), 14. Zihni Temelci, 11. Justin Amaluzor (15. Christie Pattison 69), 7. George Porter, 9. Scott Rendell. Subs not used: 1. Billy Johnson, 4. Kreshnic Krasniqi, 12. Noah Chesmain.
Braintree Town: 1. Jack Gidders, 2. Marcus Johnson-Schuster, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Matthew Johnson, 5. Ryan Henshaw, 6. Ryan Scott, 7. Johnville Renee, 8. Jack Thomas, 9. Adam Adeoye Yusuff (16. Thomas Derry 82), 10. Arjanit Krasniqi (15. Reece Prestedge, 76), 11. Corey Davidson (17. Ken Charles 89). Subs not used: 12. Kyran Clements, 14. Gabriel Piorkowski.