Monday 29 August // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 637 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United Jay Saunders celebrated his 300th match in charge of the Stones with a smash and grab victory away at Boreham Wood. This was a game that Maidstone would have been pleased to have got a point from after the Wood looked the stronger of the two sides after the break but Kevin Lokko had other ideas as he popped up side the home side’s box to sneak the winner one minute into stoppage time at the end of the match.
There was little notable action in the first half but one of the few highlights came with just two minutes gone. Tom Murphy slid the ball into Ben Greenhalgh whose cross nicked the outside of the right hand post as Reece Hall-Johnson looked to pounce.
Boreham Wood perhaps slightly edged the greater share of possession in the first half but they were restricted to long range efforts on goal. One of these came with 14 minutes gone when a flowing move involving Aaron Kuhl and Angelo Balanta ended with Balanta’s effort going well over the bar. Then in the later stages of the first half, it was Kuhl who hit a shot from the edge of the box but again, it was off target.
Then with the interval just five minutes away, the Wood keeper, Grant Smith, was called into serious action for the first time. Anthony Achaempong headed the ball forwards with some force and it eventually dropped to Alex Flisher. The Maidstone striker turned and moved forwards before hitting a low drive which was heading in until Smith intervened with a full length diving save.
Greenhalgh took the resultant corner. It came across the area to Lokko who hit the ball goalwards which, after a scramble inside the six yard box, was eventually cleared by the Boreham Wood defence.
The opening moments of the second half were more lively. On 48 minutes, Lokko pumped a deep free-kick into the Wood box. Flisher knocked the ball down and Murphy did well to spin into space to making room for a rising shot which went over the bar.
Boreham Wood immediately broke up field and Balanta crossed from the right. Achaempong wasn’t able to get that much on an attempted clearance and substitute Conor Clifford had a snap shot from the edge of the area which Worgan stopped.
Then seconds later, the ball came back out to Flisher who was on the right. Flisher clipped a cross back in which Joe Devera accidentally headed towards which own goal but he was rescued by Ben Nunn who got a vital touch to concede a corner.
With an hour gone, the Stones lost Achaempong to injury and so they had to revert to a back four with Coyle and Lokko as the two centre halves and Bobby-Joe Taylor coming into midfield out on the left. Wood then almost immediately had two opportunities. Clifford put the ball forward and Balanta managed to head it goalwards only for Worgan to tip the ball over the bar. Then following a corner, Mark Ricketts had time to find Clifford who was in a space but his low shot deflected just wide.
As the game moved towards its conclusion, the home side started to put the Stones under pressure and on 75 minutes they came close to a break through. Adriano Moke crossed from the right and the unmarked Kenny Davis had an age to pick his spot with a header only for it to crash back off the bar.
On a rare venture forwards at this point, a deep free-kick from Mills floated into the Boreham Wood box. Substitute Dumebi Dumaka rose to meet the ball but Smith dived forward and made the stop. Then not long after this, Worgan made a similar looking save after Lokko had slipped allowing substitute Morgan Ferrier to get a shot away.
With the game in its final moments, the Stones were awarded a throw deep in the Wood half. Flisher hurled it into the area and it was met by substitute Dan Sweeney whose header went inches over the bar.
Then with one minute of additional time played Maidstone snatched the win. Coyle played a long free-kick all the way into the Boreham Wood box and when it broke, Lokko was alert to get to the ball and hit a swirling effort which crept in at the far post much to the delight of the travelling Maidstone fans amassed behind the goal.
Boreham Wood: –
Maidstone United: Kevin Lokko 90+1
Boreham Wood: 1. Grant Smith, 2. Ben Nunn, 4. Mark Ricketts, 5. Matt Paine, 8. Kenny Davis, 10. Adriano Moke, 15. Femi Ilesanmi, 19. Angelo Balanta (12. Morgan Ferrier 84), 22. Jordan Chiedozie (16. Conor Clifford 34), 23. Aaron Kuhl, 33. Joe Devera. Subs not used: 3. Danny Woodards, 17. Ben Goodliffe, 21. Alfie Boal.
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 3. Tom Mills, 4. Jamie Coyle, 5. Kevin Lokko, 6. James Rogers, 11. Alex Flisher, 12. Jack Evans (8. Dan Sweeney 72), 14. Tom Murphy, 15. Anthony Acheampong (16. Bobby-Joe Taylor 60), 17. Ben Greenhalgh (20. Dumebi Dumaka 69), 22. Reece Hall-Johnson. Subs not used: 7. Vas Karagiannis, 18. Jack Richards.
Who was your man of the match against Boreham Wood?
- Kevin Lokko (29%, 48 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (19%, 32 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (16%, 27 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (13%, 22 Votes)
- Reece Hall-Johnson (4%, 7 Votes)
- Tom Mills (4%, 6 Votes)
- Jack Evans (3%, 5 Votes)
- Dumebi Dumaka (2%, 4 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (2%, 4 Votes)
- Dan Sweeney (2%, 3 Votes)
- James Rogers (2%, 3 Votes)
- Anthony Acheampong (1%, 2 Votes)
- Ben Greenhalgh (1%, 1 Votes)
- Tom Murphy (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 165