Saturday 18 August 2018 // National League // Attendance: 2,003 (60 Barrow fans) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
An early header from Shamir Mullings was enough to give the Stones a narrow victory over Barrow as Maidstone registered their first clean sheet of the season.
The Bluebirds arrived at the Gallagher Stadium in good form with Maidstone manager Jay Saunders saying he had been impressed with Barrow in the two matches that he had watched them play. But although the visitors were the stronger of the two sides in the first half after Maidstone had taken the lead, after the break, they petered out and the Stones might have won this match by a greater margin.
With just six minutes gone, Stuart Lewis played a short pass out on the right to Michee Efete who put a delightful cross into the box which was met by the towering Mullins and his downwards header beat Andrew Firth in the Barrow goal.
Not long after taking the lead, Maidstone were unable to clear their lines following a weak punch from Lee Worgan. The ball came to John Rooney on the right side of the box and he drilled a shot across goal which deflected well wide.
Rooney was playing a staring role for Barrow and he may well have equalised for the Bluebirds on 19 minutes. Nathan Waterston played the ball to him in a central position just outside the area and Rooney showed his frustration after hitting the ball over the bar.
Waterston then made a run forwards down the right and cut inside. He slightly overhit the ball allowing Stuart Lewis to get a touch but the ball ran to Rooney who arrived to strike a hard shot that looked destined for the left side of the net until the last minute when it suddenly swerved wide.
Having mostly been second best, Maidstone then had a good chance to increase their lead ten minutes before the break. Some patient build-up play from the Stones ended with Andre Coker slipping a great ball to Blair Turgott. Firth was smartly off his line though and he managed to block Turgott’s effort.
Then the last decent opportunity of the half fell to the visitors. Efete got caught by a long ball forwards allowing Jack Hindle to nip in and race towards the edge of the box before he dragged his drive right of the far post.
With the second half only minutes old, Jameson got caught in possession by Paxman not far from the box. He appeared to impede Paxman as the Maidstone midfielder tried to get into the area and with Firth quickly out of his goal, the opportunity fizzed out.
Maidstone were then awarded a corner which Turgott drove into the box. Barrow could only clear the ball as far as Lewis who couldn’t get enough power behind his volley to trouble Firth.
On 56 minutes, Rooney passed to Hindle on the left. Hindle pulled the ball back into a central area in the box where it was met by Luke Carroll-Burgess who hit a low shot which might have had its power reduced by a deflection and Worgan almost let the ball squirm under him but he finally gathered the ball as Barrow looked to pounce.
Paxman was then presented with another opportunity to beat Firth when he found himself with only the Barrow keeper to beat once more. But yet again, Firth was smartly out of his goal and he calmly knocked the ball away from Paxman’s stride.
Lewis then threaded the ball forward for Turgott. Turgott timed his run well to beat the well marshalled Barrow offside trap but as he went into the area, he opted for a near post shot and the ball screwed wide.
Maidstone United: Shamir Mullings 6
Maidstone United (4-3-3): 1. Lee Worgan, 2. Michee Efete, 4. Jordan Wynter, 5. Will De Havilland, 15. Seth Nana Twumasi, 21. Ollie Muldoon, 8. Stuart Lewis, 10. Jack Paxman (22. Michael Phillips 74), 11. Blair Turgott, 15. Shamir Mullings (9. Joe Quigley 83), 7. Andre Coker (14. Jamar Loza 76). Subs not used: 3. George McLennan, 12, Matt Funnell.
Barrow (4-3-3): 13. Andrew Firth, 2. Connor Brown, 23. Kyle Jameson (24. Lee Molynex 75), 5. Josh Granite, 3. Dan Jones, 8. John Rooney, 4. Jason Taylor, 14. Luke Carroll-Burgess (20. Raul Correia 79), 7. Jack Hindle, 19. Tyler Smith, 11. Nathan Carroll-Burgess (10. Josh Kay 58). Subs not used: 30. James Pollard, 20. Raul Correia, 21. Jack Barthram.
Who was your man of the match against Barrow?
- Shamir Mullings (32%, 48 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (21%, 31 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (13%, 20 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (8%, 12 Votes)
- Jordan Wynter (6%, 9 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (5%, 8 Votes)
- Andre Coker (5%, 8 Votes)
- MIchee Efete (4%, 6 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (3%, 5 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (1%, 2 Votes)
- Blair Turgott (1%, 2 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jamar Loza (0%, 0 Votes)
- Joe Quigley (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 151