Saturday 29 December 2018 // National League // Attendance: 630 (210 Maidstone United supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
A very gutsy and hardworking performance from Maidstone United paid dividends as the Stones won for the first time in the league since 3 November against Barnet and also registered their first clean sheet in 11 matches.
The Stones were constantly encouraged from the side lines by the caretaker managers Simon Walton and Tristan Lewis and they played with the sort of freedom not seen by a Maidstone side for many months.
They also couldn’t have wished for a better start. On seven minutes some good work from Jack Powell saw him nick the ball off Keiran Murtagh in midfield. He slid the ball down the line to Michael Phillips whose cross went all the way out to George McLennan on the left. McLennan delivered a decent ball back into the box which was met by Jake Cassidy who headed in his third goal for Maidstone.
As the half progressed, the home side started to up the pressure and they went close on a couple of occasions. The first time was when Ricky Shakes’ cross-shot from the right struck the bar and flew over. Then Aryan Tajbakhsh accidentally headed the ball back towards goal causing Ross Worner to punch clear. Boreham Wood immediately put the ball back into the box and former Maidstone defender Manny Parry headed wide.
Maidstone were continuing to battle away and on 35 minutes, Jack Paxman and then Powell combined to ensure Powell was able to get a shot away from the edge of the box but Ryan Huddart made a comfortable diving save.
Then just before the interval, Boreham Wood went close to taking the lead. The ball was bundled forward by Shakes to Gozie Ugwu and his effort was parried by Worner. Bradley Ash managed to the rebound but he was denied by some excellent defending from Phillips who got the ball away from goal.
The Wood thought they had equalised on 50 minutes. Shakes drove in a cross which was met by Parry and although his header found the net, Parry was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Maidstone were managing to keep the home side at bay but their challenge got even greater 14 minutes from time. There was an off the ball scuffle involving Wishart and all of a sudden, the referee, Mr Reeves, showed Wishart a red card.
Not long after this, Murtagh’s corner was met by the unmarked Ugwu who headed wide of the left post. Then on 81 minutes, the Wood were awarded a penalty when Worner caught substitute Justin Shaibu as the Maidstone keeper punched the ball clear. Murtagh assumed responsibility for the penalty and he sent it towards the right of Worner but Worner flung himself and made a superb save.
Sorba Thomas then got down the right and he fired in a cross which David Stephens headed wide and this was to be the last time that Boreham Wood truly threatened and the last opportunity of the game fell to the Stones. With the game in stoppage time, Maidstone were doing a good job at relieving the pressure and the ball came to substitute Elliott Romain who opted for a low drive from just outside the area which went inches wide.
Boreham Wood: –
Maidstone United: Jake Cassidy 7
Boreham Wood: 1. Ryan Huddart, 3. Femi Ilesanmi, 4. Mark Ricketts, 5. Manny Parry (12. Jamal Fyfield 63), 6. David Stephens, 7. Ricky Shakes, 8. Tom Champion, 10. Keiran Murtagh, 11. Bradley Ash (14. Sorba Thomas 45), 15. Gozie Ugwu, 16. Connor Smith (20. Justin Shaibu 45). Subs not used: 17. Fred Burbidge, 2. Danny Woodards.
Maidstone United: 1. Ross Worner, 22. Michael Phillips, 29. Charlie Wassmer, 5. Will De Havilland, 3. George McLennan, 16. Dan Wishart, 28. Aryan Tajbakhsh (30. Jarvis Edobor 45), 21. Ollie Muldoon, 10. Jack Paxman (9. Elliott Romain 79), 8. Jack Powell, 24. Jake Cassidy. Subs not used:19. Jake Robinson, 12. Josh Strizovic, 23. Jack Richards.
Who was your man of the match against Boreham Wood?
- Ross Worner (37%, 62 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (19%, 32 Votes)
- Jake Cassidy (11%, 18 Votes)
- George McLennan (9%, 15 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (6%, 10 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (4%, 7 Votes)
- Jack Powell (4%, 6 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (3%, 5 Votes)
- Jarvis Edobor (3%, 5 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (2%, 4 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (1%, 2 Votes)
- Aryan Tajbakhsh (1%, 1 Votes)
- Charlie Wassmer (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 168