Saturday 26 January 2019 // National League // Attendance: 5,448 (449 Maidstone United supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
There was to be no fairy tale start to John Still’s second stint in charge of Maidstone United as the Stones were beaten away at league leaders Leyton Orient. Still’s last match as manager of Maidstone came back in May 1989 when the Stones had just won promotion to the football league but he faces a very different challenge this time with Maidstone struggling at the wrong end of the National League.
The Stones started well enough although as the half wore on, the home side began to dominate proceedings. On four minutes, Michael Phillips released Jake Robinson with an inviting through ball. Robinson’s first touch was good but as he got towards the area he found himself surrounded by Jamie Turley and Dan Happe and in the end Robinson couldn’t get an attempt on goal away.
Phillips was involved again when he perhaps should have done better with the opportunity that he was presented with. Simon Walton started off the move with an excellent tackle and Jake Powell moved the ball into Josh Taylor. Taylor then spotted Phillips in space towards the edge of the box and Phillips elected for an early drive which was tame and went straight at Dean Brill in the Orient goal.
By now Leyton Orient were beginning to increase the pressure on the Stones. On 21 minutes Josh Koroma went past George McLennan down the right and drove a dangerous ball all the way across the face of goal. But the home side did finally take the lead 11 minutes before the break. The Stones’ defence were unable to deal with a long throw from Charlie Lee which was flicked on by Jamie Turley and Jordan Maguire-Drew took advantage of the loose ball that came his way by firing it into the roof of the net.
With the game in stoppage time the O’s should have doubled their advantage. Lee put Macauley Bonne in on goal and with only Ethan Ross to beat, Orient’s leading scorer blazed the ball over the bar.
Early on in the second half, Bonne squared the ball to Maguire-Drew who wasn’t far from the edge of the box and his fierce effort was off target. But it wasn’t long before Leyton Orient did add to their tally. A corner from Jobi McAnuff was headed down by Lee and Bonne showed why he has now got 19 goals so far this season as he reacted quickest to smash ball in through a crowd.
The afternoon could have got even worse for the Stones shortly after this. The Maidstone defence got prised open as good play from Bonne found substitute Matt Harrold but Ross stood firm and did well to make the block.
One minute later, the Stones created their first decent chance in the second half. Substitute Elliott Romain did well to win the ball off Joe Widdowson and with Robinson waiting just yards from goal, Romain opted for a near post shot which went into the side netting.
Bonne then found substitute James Brophy and Ross managed to hold onto his shot. And apart from a squirrel interrupting play with a sprint down the pitch before it exited the field of play close to the Stones fans who were signing “sign him up”, there was not a huge amount to note until deep in stoppage time when Orient were awarded a penalty which Bonne converted.
Leyton Orient: Jordan Maguire-Drew 34, Macauley Bonne 56, 90 (pen)
Maidstone United: –
Leyton Orient: 1. Dean Brill, 2. Sam Ling, 23. Jamie Turley, 15. Dan Happe, 3. Joe Widdowson, 10. Jordan Maguire-Drew (16. James Brophy 73), 22. Charlie Lee (4. Alex Lawless 85), 8. Craig Clay, 7. Jobi McAnuff, 19. Josh Koroma (18. Matt Harrold 49), 9. Macauley Bonne. Subs not used: 24. Sam Sargeant, 14. Myles Judd.
Maidstone United:1. Ethan Ross, 2. Dan Meridith, 25. Rob Swaine, 5. Will De Havilland, 3. George McLennan, 24. Josh Taylor, 22. Michael Phillips (9. Elliott Romain 61), 20. Simon Walton, 8. Jack Powell, 16. Dan Wishart, 19. Jake Robinson. Subs not used: 30. Jarvis Edobor, 23. Jack Richards, 10. Jack Paxman, 28. Aryan Tajbakhsh.
Who was your man of the match against Leyton Orient?
- Will De Havilland (22%, 21 Votes)
- Ethan Ross (13%, 12 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (11%, 10 Votes)
- Micheal Phillips (11%, 10 Votes)
- Rob Swaine (7%, 7 Votes)
- Dan Meridith (6%, 6 Votes)
- George McLennan (6%, 6 Votes)
- Simon Walton (5%, 5 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (5%, 5 Votes)
- Jack Powell (5%, 5 Votes)
- Josh Taylor (4%, 4 Votes)
- Jake Robinson (3%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 94