Wednesday 26 December 2018 // National League // Attendance: 1,937 (300 Maidstone United supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
There was no festive cheer for the Stones at Crabble after Dover Athletic, with four former Maidstone players in their starting line up, came from behind to haul themselves out of the relegation zone and leave the Stones five points adrift of safety.
After defeat against Gateshead, Harry Wheeler made changes in defence with Rob Swaine coming into accompany Charlie Wassmer at centre half. Swaine did not last the full 90 minutes though as he saw red for a challenge on former Maidstone captain Stuart Lewis late on in the game.
Early on, Dover got into a decent position inside the Maidstone box. Anthony Jeffrey cut the ball back to Inih Effiong and his effort was on target but it took a big deflection off debutant Wassmer which took the ball away from goal.
Then on eight minutes the Stones went in front. Lewis tried to guide the ball back to Mitch Walker but didn’t get enough on the ball and Jake Robinson nipped in. Walker was quickly off his line and he clattered into Robinson who got enough of a touch to make sure the ball rolled into the net. Unfortunately Robinson was injured whilst scoring and only lasted another eight minutes before hobbling off.
As the game moved towards the break, the home side began to look a bit more threatening. On 40 minutes, Bobby-Joe Taylor curled a free-kick towards top right hand corner of the net but he was denied by a fine save from Ross Worner.
Anthony Jeffrey then got past Swaine down the right and he moved into the box before thumping a low drive wide. And Maidstone then had a similar chance when substitute Elliott Romain took the ball off Kevin Lokko and shot wide from a tight angle with Sean Shields waiting in the box.
Not long after the restart, Jai Reason tried to thread the ball through to substitute Alfie Pavey but Worner was alert to the danger and got enough of a touch to snuff out the danger. Then just before the hour, Mitch Brundle’s shot was blocked and Bedsente Gomes tried to burst through only for his effort to be deflected behind for a corner. This was swung into the box by Taylor and Brundle’s header looped into the net.
The Stones then had Warner as the keeper made three decent saves inside a minute. The first came when Warner blocked a shot from Reason and he recovered quickly to deny Pavey with his foot from the rebound. From the resultant corner, the ball eventually fell to Pavey whose header seemed certain to creep in until Warner pushed it wide.
But the pressure from Dover paid off as on 76 minutes they did force the ball past Warner. Reason stood the ball up towards the near post and with a couple of Whites players looking to attack the ball, Bedsente Gomes got the vital touch to head the ball into the net.
And four minutes later Dover made certain of the win. Inih Effiong got on the end of a ball forwards and showed good strength to get to the edge of the box and fire past Worner.
Dover Athletic: Mitch Brundle 59, Bedsente Gomes 76, Inih Effiong 80
Maidstone United: Jake Robinson 8
Dover Athletic: 1. Mitch Walker, 2. Josh Passley, 5. Kevin Lokko, 8. Mitch Brundle, 29. Bobby-Joe Taylor, 21. Ricky Modeste (26. Scott Doe 45), 23. Bedsente Gomes, 27. Stuart Lewis, 7. Anthony Jeffrey (14. Alfie Pavey 45), 30. Jai Reason, 12. Inih Effiong (10. Jamie Allen 87). Subs not used: 18. Nortei Nortey, 31. Lee Worgan.
Maidstone United: 1. Ross Worner, 22. Michael Phillips, 29. Charlie Wassmer, 25. Rob Swaine, 3. George McLennan, 18. Sean Shields, 20. Simon Walton, 28. Aryan Tajbakhsh (10. Jack Paxman 78), 16. Dan Wishart (8. Jack Powell 62), 19. Jake Robinson (9. Elliott Romain 16), 24. Jake Cassidy.Subs not used:5. Will De Havilland, 21. Ollie Muldoon.
Who was your man of the match against Dover Athletic?
- Ross Worner (63%, 88 Votes)
- Jake Robinson (9%, 13 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (6%, 9 Votes)
- Rob Swaine (5%, 7 Votes)
- George McLennan (4%, 5 Votes)
- Sean Shields (3%, 4 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (3%, 4 Votes)
- Aryan Tajbakhsh (2%, 3 Votes)
- Jack Powell (1%, 2 Votes)
- Jake Cassidy (1%, 2 Votes)
- Charlie Wassmer (1%, 2 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (1%, 1 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (0%, 0 Votes)
- Simon Walton (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 140