Saturday 27 February // Vanarama National League South // Attendance: // Report by Ruth Tunnell
After 90 minutes of this match it had looked as though the Stones were going to sneak another 1-0 away win and stretch their unbeaten start to the new year to six games. But two minutes into stoppage time, Josh Hill headed an equaliser for the Hawks and 60 seconds later, Mullings grabbed the winner as Havant and Waterloovile gave themselves a boost in their bid to avoid relegation.
Its not often this season that the Stones end up on the losing side after taking the lead and this game probably won’t live long in the memory for many other reasons. After all, clear chances were few and far between in the first half although the home side probably looked the more likely to edge in front.
Maidstone lost Jamie Coyle to a suspected medial knee ligament injury just past the midway mark of the first half and his replacement, Manny Parry, had to be alert to put the ball behind and stop Scott Donnelly from receiving possession from Nic Ciardini. It was Donnelly who then put the corner into the box and Dan Strungell headed well wide of the far post.
Donnelly was then involved again when he delivered a free-kick into the box for Shamir Mullings who wasted the chance with his head. And two minutes before the break, Hill looked to have got into a good position only for Lee Worgan to make a comfortable save to deny the Hawks’ midfielder.
The second half continued in a similar vein and Mullings attempted to lob Worgan from out on the right hand side and the Maidstone keeper jumped and plucked the ball out of the air. But with an hour gone, the Stones suddenly found themselves in front. A free-kick from Vas Karagiannis beat the Hawks’ defence and Joe Healy got in on the cross but Ryan Young pushed his header behind for a corner. This was also taken by Karagiannis and Healy knocked the ball down for Callum Davies to stab in his first goal for Maidstone.
Ten minutes later, Davies should have added his second for the Stones. Alex Flisher replaced Charles Banya and Flisher’s first contribution was to hurl a long throw into the box. Young, who once again looked resplendent in fuchsia pink, shouted for the ball but he was unable to claim it and so it dropped to Davies who somehow saw his shot from just a couple of yards out hit the bar twice before it was cleared.
Despite this miss, Maidstone still looked comfortable but that changed with 87 minutes gone. Substitute Dan Sweeney was dismissed for tackle which was deemed to be a second bookable offence by referee Gary Parsons and all of a sudden the home side had belief that they could get something out of the game.
And so that proved as with the game in stoppage time, Flisher conceded a free-kick in the Maidstone half which the Stones never got properly clear. The ball eventually came to Ciardini who whipped in a good cross which Josh Hill headed past Worgan.
Buoyed by their equaliser, the Hawks pushed forwards in search of a winner that they claimed with 93 minutes on the clock. Once again Ciardini was involved and this time he put a low ball across the box which was smashed in by Mullings to send the home crowd and the Hawks’ bench wild with delight as Havant claimed their ninth win of the season.
Havant and Waterloovile: Josh Hill 90, Shamir Mullings 90
Maidstone United: Callum Davies 60
Havant and Waterloovile: Ryan Young, Dan Strungell, Harry Medway (Matt Paterson 82), Brian Stock, Lee Molyneaux (James Haran 62), Josh Hill, Ben Swallow, Scott Donnelly, Shamir Mullings, Nic Ciardini, Aaron Mitchell (James Hayter 62). Subs not used: Jake Thomson, Dan Blanchett.
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Callum Driver, Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle (Manny Parry 24), Callum Davies, James Rogers, Charles Banya (Alex Flisher 70), Joe Healy, Dumebi Dumaka, Jack Paxman, (Dan Sweeney 63), Vas Karagiannis. Subs not used: Bobby-Joe Taylor, Adam Birchall.
Who was your man of the match against Havant & Waterlooville
- Callum Davies (17%, 20 Votes)
- Joe Healy (9%, 11 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (9%, 11 Votes)
- Callum Driver (8%, 10 Votes)
- Dan Sweeney (8%, 9 Votes)
- Manny Parry (8%, 9 Votes)
- Dumebi Dumaka (8%, 9 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (8%, 9 Votes)
- James Rogers (7%, 8 Votes)
- Vas Karagiannis (7%, 8 Votes)
- Tom Mills (4%, 5 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (4%, 5 Votes)
- Charles Banya (2%, 2 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (2%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 118