Tuesday 19 February 2019 // National League // Attendance: 1,813 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
The relegation trap door looms ever closer for Maidstone United as they lost for the fifth time in six league matches. The Stones are still ten points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table and the games are running out for Maidstone as there are now just 12 matches left.
The first half looked like a fixture between two struggling sides for long periods. FC Halifax Town Town arrived at the Gallagher Stadium having not scored in five league matches and with only two league wins away from home. Meanwhile, Maidstone United’s last home league victory came exactly six months ago when they beat Barrow.
With ten minutes gone, Shaun Donnellan sent an awkward back pass to Dion-Curtis Henry. Henry flicked the ball up before attempting to volley the ball clear but he was quickly closed down by Dayle Southwell. Unfortunately for both players there was a nasty clash of legs as they challenged for the ball which lead to Henry leaving the field on a stretcher and Dayle hobbling from the pitch not long after the restart following a lengthy delay.
Henry was replaced by Chris Lewington who became the seventh goal keeper to play for Maidstone this season. Lewington had little to do in the remainder of the first half though and as time wore on, the Stones started to look brighter in spells.
On 35 minutes, Michael Phillips burst down the left. He gave the ball to Dan Meredith who crossed to Jake Cassidy and his fierce effort was on target but Nathan Clarke made an important block.
Justin Amaluzor was making his home debut for the Stones and he started a decent move by sliding the ball out to Elliott Romain. Romain delivered the ball into the box and although Amaluzor couldn’t make contact with an overhead kick the chance fell to Phillips whose low volley went wide.
There was seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half and during this, Amaluzor fired over from just outside the box. The Stones were increasing the tempo during this time and Romain perhaps could tested Sam Johnson in the Halifax goal but he couldn’t properly get on the end of a cross from George McLennan.
Maidstone continued with the greater urgency in the early stages of the second half. Jack Powell got the opportunity to shoot from just outside the box and he sliced the ball wide before Cassidy headed the ball goalwards and Will De Havilland tried to nod it past Johnson only to find the keeper’s arms from close range.
Powell then combined well with Amaluzor who dragged the ball wide before the Stones nearly gifted the visitors the opener which would have been against the run of play. Substitute Jarvis Edobor put Will De Havilland under pressure with a short pass and Matty Kosylo nipped in. Kosylo unselfishly played the ball to substitute Scott Quigley who found himself with only Lewington to beat and Lewington made an excellent block.
There was then another scare for Maidstone shortly after this. James Hardy’s cross was headed just over the bar by De Havilland as Halifax started to look more threatening.
Romain went close with a low drive from 25 yards before the Shayman came within inches of scoring. A corner from James Berrett was met by Clarke and his header thumped against the bar.
By now, Halifax were looking the more likely to score and they went close again with four minutes remaining. The Shaymen broke rapidly and the ball came into substitute Jonathan Edwards who was quickly being closed down by Cassidy and he only just missed the target.
But the visitors were to get a late winner after all as sixty seconds after the previous chance, Kosylo went on a mazy run which took him into space inside the Maidstone box. Kosylo kept his composure and saw the unmarked Quigley who smashed the ball past Lewington.
There was still time for Halifax to nearly add a second. In stoppage time substitute Jordan Preston curled the ball against the bar and this was to be the last time that either side went close as the Shaymen won for the first time since Boxing Day.
FC Halifax Town: Scott Quigley 87
Maidstone United:1. Dion-Curtis Henry (26. Chris Lewington 15), 2. Dan Merdith, 27. Shaun Donnellan (30. Jarvis Edobor 45), 5. Will De Havilland, 3. George McLennan, 6. Aron Davies, 22. Michael Phillips, 8. Jack Powell, 14. Justin Amaluzor, 18. Jake Cassidy, 9. Elliott Romain (19. Jake Robinson 81). Subs not used:10. Jack Paxman, 21. Ollie Muldoon.
FC Halifax Town:1. Sam Johnson, 2. Michael Duckworth, 3. Ryan Sellers, 4. Nathan Clarke, 5. Matty Brown, 7. Matty Kosylo, 9. Dayle Southwell (37. Scott Quigley 20), 14. Ben Tomlinson (19. Jordan Preston 41), 18. James Berrett, 31. Niall Maher, 36. James Hardy (10. Jonathan Edwards 79).Subs not used:21. Shaun Rowley, 6. Josh Staunton.
Who was your man of the match against FC Halifax Town?
- Justin Amaluzor (28%, 32 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (17%, 19 Votes)
- Aron Davies (12%, 13 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (12%, 13 Votes)
- Chris Lewington (8%, 9 Votes)
- Dion-Curtis Henry (7%, 8 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (4%, 5 Votes)
- George McLennan (4%, 4 Votes)
- Jake Cassidy (3%, 3 Votes)
- Jack Powell (2%, 2 Votes)
- Jarvis Edobor (2%, 2 Votes)
- Shaun Donnellan (1%, 1 Votes)
- Dan Meridith (1%, 1 Votes)
- Jake Robinson (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 113