Saturday 15 August 2018 // National League // Attendance: 2,222 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
There was no fairy tale start to Harry Wheeler’s reign at Maidstone United as top of the table Harrogate Town eased to a comfortable victory in an uninspiring encounter at the Gallagher Stadium.
It didn’t take long for Harrogate to show their attacking intent. On three minutes, Dominic Knowles swept a low shot onto the base of the left post and although Kevin Langmead managed to reach the rebound, he put it over the bar.
Having been the stronger of the two sides, Town took the lead with 17 minutes gone. George Thomson’s corner from the right was headed back across goal by Knowles and Liam Kitching saw his header hit the bar. The ball bounced back into play and Callum Howe reacted quickest to head in his fourth goal of the season.
Maidstone were struggling to create anything of note and just before the break, Harrogate scored again. A fine long ball forward from Joe Leesley sent Jack Muldoon racing towards goal and although Lee Worgan got a hand to the ball he could do nothing to prevent it nesting in the bottom right corner of the net.
With the game in first half stoppage time, the Stones were perhaps fortunate not to fall further behind. Worgan came charging from his goal to try and get the ball clear and ended up stranded some distance from goal. Harrogate quickly found Thomson but the Maidstone defence had got back in numbers and Alex Finney comfortably cleared Thomson’s shot away from goal.
Maidstone briefly rallied after the break and they did go close to pulling a goal back on 48 minutes. A corner from Jack Paxman reached substitute Joe Quigley and his header deflected behind. Once again, Paxman put the ball into the box and this time it was met by Shamir Mullings who forced James Belshaw into an excellent one handed stop.
The second half was largely a quiet affair until the Stones belatedly upped the tempo going into the final 10 minutes. Michee Efete drove forwards and played the ball to Mullings who laid it into the path of Stuart Lewis before continuing his run into the box. Lewis then curled the ball into the area where Mullings’ deflected effort struck the top of the bar.
Moments later, Mullings cut inside and hit a low drive which went inches wide of the left post. Then another corner for the Stones was taken by substitute George McLennan and the ball came to Simon Walton whose shot into a crowd was blocked.
Maidstone United: –
Harrogate Town: Callum Howe 17, Jack Muldoon 44
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 2. Michee Efete, 5. Will De Havilland, 6. Alex Finney, 15. Seth Nana Twumasi, 20. Simon Walton, 8. Stuart Lewis, 10. Jack Paxman (3. George McLennan 72), 22. Michael Phillips, 15. Shamir Mullings, 7. Andre Coker (9. Joe Quigley 45). Subs not used:4. Jordan Wynter, 18. Jordy Robins, 23. Jack Richards.
Harrogate Town: 1. James Belshaw, 6. Wayne Burrell, 5. Callum Howe, 15. Kevin Langmead, 20. Liam Kitching, 7. George Thomson, 17. Lloyd Kerry, 14. Liam Agnew, 11. Joe Leesley, 10. Dominic Knowles (9. Mark Beck 68), 18. Jack Muldoon (16. Aaron Williams 77). Subs not used: 3. Ben Parker, 13. Joe Cracknell, 21. Levi Sutton.
Who was your man of the match against Harrogate Town?
- Jack Paxman (42%, 53 Votes)
- Alex Finney (17%, 21 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (9%, 11 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (7%, 9 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (6%, 8 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (4%, 5 Votes)
- Shamir Mullings (3%, 4 Votes)
- Andre Coker (2%, 3 Votes)
- Michee Efete (2%, 3 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (2%, 3 Votes)
- Joe Quigley (2%, 2 Votes)
- George McLennan (2%, 2 Votes)
- Simon Walton (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 125