Monday 26 December // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 2,369 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
The Stones gained a valuable point away at Dover Athletic thanks to a spectacular goal from Jamar Loza in a thoroughly entertaining match at Crabble.
This was one of Maidstone’s best performances in recent months and they managed to largely contain a strong Dover Athletic side who are pushing hard for a play-off spot at the end of the season.
The home side started brightly and right from the kick off they threatened. Ashwad Thomas went on a run down the left and he crossed for Ricky Modeste who hooked his shot over the bar.
Thomas was involved again when he set up a shot for former Maidstone midfielder Jack Parkinson but his effort from the edge of the box was deflected wide of the left hand post. From the resultant corner, Ross Lafayette’s header was on target but it was also deflected behind.
Then with 16 minutes gone, Dover were awarded a penalty when the referee, Mr Rock, felt that Tom Mills had fouled Ricky Miller inside the box. Miller got up to take the spot kick and he sent Lee Worgan the wrong way to register his 25th goal of the season.
Maidstone didn’t let going behind drag them down though and as the half went on, they started to create chances of their own. Firstly, a glancing header from Kevin Lokko didn’t miss by much and then Jamar Loza cut inside before forcing a fine save from Steve Arnold in the Dover goal.
Jack Paxman then played the ball to Yemi Odubade who neatly cushioned his header into Loza. The Maidstone striker was forced a bit wide of goal but he got a goal bound shot away which Tyrone Sterling did well to block.
Miller was unsurprisingly looking dangerous every time he got the ball. On 31 minutes, he was allowed to turn on the edge of the box and his shot was deflected over the bar for a corner. Not long after this, Dover broke quickly from a Lokko free-kick and Thomas found Miller only for the striker to drag the ball wide when well placed.
Then with the game in first half stoppage time, Vas Karagiannis whipped a free-kick into the box. Flisher was stretching to get on the end of it and he couldn’t connect cleanly with the ball and so from close range, he put the chance over.
The Stones had a decent spell of pressure just after the break. It started with Loza going on a strong run forward and only a good header from Sterling prevented the Maidstone striker from equalising.
Karagiannis then came in off the wing and made Arnold make a diving save to concede a corner. And Arnold was called into action again when he made an even better stop to deny Flisher who had struck a low powerful effort from close to the edge of the box.
Maidstone kept on pushing and Arnold denied Loza from close range before Dover survived a scramble in the box after the ball rebounded back out. But Arnold was eventually beaten with an hour gone. Loza sent the ball into the area from out on the right wing and it came off the far post before entering the net.
There after the game quietened down a bit after being played at a terrific tempo and it was the home side who could have grabbed a winner late on. Not for the first time in the afternoon, Dover raced forwards at pace and Miller got into a decent position inside the box but he was denied by an excellent challenge from Callum Driver.
Dover Athletic: Ricky Miller 16 (pen)
Maidstone United: Jamar Loza 60
Dover Athletic: 18. Steve Arnold, 2. Sam Magri, 3. Ashwad Thomas, 6. Richard Orlu, 7. Ricky Modeste, 15. Jamie Grimes, 23. Jack Parkinson (8. Jim Stevenson 75), 25. Ross Lafayette, 17. Moses Emmanuel (21. Sammy Moore 79), 9. Ricky Miller, 16. Tyrone Sterling. Subs not used: 11. Mitchell Pinnock, 4. Chris Kinnear Jnr, 10. Tyrone Marsh.
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 2. Callum Driver, 5. Kevin Lokko, 4. Jamie Coyle, 3. Tom Mills, 7. Vas Karagiannis (16. Bobby-Joe Taylor 81), 6. James Rogers, 10. Jack Paxman, 11. Alex Flisher, 23. Yemi Odubade (Joseph N’Guessan 82), 25. Jamar Loza. Subs not used: 12. Jack Evans, 15. Anthony Achaempong, 17. Ben Greenhalgh.
Who was your man of the match against Dover Athletic?
- Jamar Loza (33%, 42 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (21%, 27 Votes)
- Vas Karagiannis (20%, 25 Votes)
- Callum Driver (7%, 9 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (6%, 8 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (4%, 5 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (3%, 4 Votes)
- Tom Mills (2%, 3 Votes)
- Kevin Lokko (2%, 2 Votes)
- James Rogers (2%, 2 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (0%, 0 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (0%, 0 Votes)
- Joseph N'Guessan (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 127