Saturday 8 April // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 967 (199 Maidstone United supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the third week in a row, Maidstone United came from behind to record a victory as they extended their unbeaten run to an impressive nine matches. This time it was Gateshead who were on the receiving end of the defeat as the Stones became only the third team to beat the Heed at home this season.
Maidstone started well enough with Alex Flisher’s long throws causing some issues for the Gateshead defence. From one of these on 10 minutes, Stuart Lewis won the ball and played it back to Flisher who cut inside and shot just wide of the right hand post. Then a little while later, a glancing header from Joe Pigott from another Flisher throw was just off target.
But with 26 minutes gone, Maidstone suddenly found themselves trailing. A long distance effort from Lewis was parried by James Montgomery in the Gateshead goal before the keeper claimed the ball. The home side immediately broke up field and when the cross came in from Paddy McLaughlin, the unfortunate Tom Mills hit the ball into Jordan Burrow and it ricocheted into the net.
And seconds later the Stones nearly went further behind. Once again a cross into the box caused problems as Seth Nana Twuamasi was inches away from scoring an own goal but the ball went just wide of the left hand post.
Flisher then saw a fierce effort go just over the bar before Gateshead broke forwards with pace once again. Wes York found Burrow and Burrow went for an early low shot which Worgan turned behind for a corner.
But it was introduction of Bobby-Joe Taylor which rejuvenated the Stones towards the later stages of the second half. With 72 minutes gone, Taylor brought down a throw from Flisher and his resultant shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide.
Then seconds later, Maidstone drew level. Yemi Odubade’s put a low corner into the box which Liam Hogan stuck out a foot at and the ball squirmed into the net despite the best efforts of Montgomery who got close to making the save.
And matters got even better for the Stones on 76 minutes. Reece Prestedge slipped the ball into Taylor who ran down the right hand side of the box before firing a low shot past Montgomery.
There was then a scare for Maidstone. They seem to get into trouble at the back as substitute Jake Wright nipped in but with Worgan drawn from his goal, the ball bounced wide of the left hand post.
With five minutes remaining the Stones had a chance to go further ahead. Maidstone broke through Taylor down the left and he pulled the ball back into the box where it was picked up by substitute George Oakley and his shot was cleared away from the line Gus Mafuta.
As the game moved into stoppage time, Jamal Fyfield ran down the left for Gateshead. His cross into the box deflected off Stuart Lewis but fortunately for Maidstone, it went into the side netting.
There was then seven minutes of additional time but in the end the Stones held on comfortably and the result means they have moved up to sixteenth in the National League table and five points clear of the relegation zone.
Gateshead: Jordan Burrow 26
Maidstone United: Liam Hogan73 (O.G.), Bobby-Joe Taylor 76
Gateshead: 1. James Montgomery (13. Dan Hanford 77), 6. Jamal Fyfield, 4. Manny Smith, 5. Liam Hogan, 2. James Bolton, 8. Mitch Brundle (25. Luke Hannant 70), 22. Gus Mafuta, 26. Paddy McLaughlin, 7. Wes York, 9. Danny Johnson (19. Jake Wright 56), 15. Jordan Burrow. Subs not used: 3. George Smith, 28. Kieran Green.
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 22. Seth Nana Twuamasi, 5. Kevin Lokko, 4. Jamie Coyle, 3. Tom Mills, 10. Jack Paxman (16. Bobby-Joe Taylor 64), 14. Reece Prestedge, 8. Stuart Lewis, 23. Yemi Odubade (9. George Oakley 80), 32. Joe Pigott, 11. Alex Flisher. Subs not used: 21. Harry Phipps, 15. Anthony Achaempong, 24. Magnus Okuonghae
Who was your man of the match against Gateshead?
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (45%, 82 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (13%, 23 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (12%, 21 Votes)
- Joe Pigott (7%, 13 Votes)
- Reece Prestedge (6%, 11 Votes)
- Kevin Lokko (5%, 9 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (3%, 6 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (3%, 5 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (2%, 4 Votes)
- Tom Mills (2%, 3 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (1%, 2 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (1%, 1 Votes)
- George Oakley (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 181