Monday 17 April // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 2,880 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United will be in the Vanarama National League next season after a dramatic late winner from Yemi Odubade guaranteed their survival at this level. The Stones have been on a brilliant run of form since early February with just one defeat in 12 matches which has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and towards mid table with three games remaining.
There was a lively start to this match during which time both sides created early chances. With just one minute played, Alex Flisher weaved into space before hitting a shot from close to the edge of the area straight at Grant Smith in the Boreham Wood goal. Then seconds later, a deep cross from Seth Nana-Twumasi reached Bobby-Joe Taylor who couldn’t direct his shot on target and Odubade was inches away from connecting with the ball as it went across the six yard box.
For the visitors, Jai Reason lifted an effort from distance just over the bar before the Wood went even closer. Morgan Ferrier put a low ball into the box and it looped off Ricky Shakes allowing Lee Worgan to flick the ball into the air and then claim it at the second attempt.
Then with 19 minutes gone, Stuart Lewis sent a free-kick in towards the area. It came to Kevin Lokko whose half volley was blocked and when it rebounded, Magnus Okuonghae fired the ball goalwards only for Danny Woodards to make a decent block and divert it behind for a corner.
Lokko was involved again not long after this when he had two attempts on goal but both headers went straight at Smith. Then at the other end, Femi Ilesanmi surged past Nana-Twumasi down the left and crossed for Ferrier but his header from a central position was easily claimed by Worgan in the Maidstone goal.
Four minutes before the break, Boreham Wood were awarded a free-kick about 20 yards from goal. Reason exchanged the ball with Ferrier before hitting a curling effort which didn’t miss the right hand post by much.
Just after half time, Woodards might have handled the ball inside the box as he was on the floor trying to prevent Odubade from getting past him but the referee, Mr Whitton, was unimpressed with the claims for a penalty. And moments after this, Joe Pigott slipped the ball into Odubade who got a low shot away despite the tight angle and it went just past the left hand post.
As the second half wore on, the Stones started to look like they were feeling the effects of 1700 miles of travelling over the past week or so. But despite this, they largely managed to keep the visitors at bay apart from one instance nine minutes before full time. Tom Mills brought down Ferrier about 20 yards from goal and Bruno Andrade’s free-kick thumped inches wide.
Then three minutes into stoppage time came the moment which ensured Maidstone United’s safety in the league. Reece Prestedge hit a ball forwards into the box and Odubade beat the offside trap to despatch a cool finish past Smith and spark huge celebrations at the Gallagher Stadium.
Maidstone United: Yemi Odubade 90
Boreham Wood: –
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 22. Seth Nana-Twumasi, 5. Kevin Lokko, 24. Magnus Okuonghae, 3. Tom Mills, 14. Reece Prestedge, 8. Stuart Lewis, 16. Bobby-Joe Taylor (10. Jack Paxman 45), 11. Alex Flisher, 23. Yemi Odubade, 32. Joe Pigott. Subs not used: 4. Jamie Coyle, 20. Jake McCarthy, 21. Harry Phipps, 25. Jamar Loza.
Boreham Wood: 1. Grant Smith, 3. Danny Woodards, 4. Mark Ricketts, 6. David Stephens, 7. Ricky Shakes, 10. Jai Reason, 11. Bruno Andrade, 12. Morgan Ferrier, 15. Femi Ilesanmi, 19. Angelo Balanta, 33. Joe Devera. Subs not used: 5. Matthew Paine, 9. Tom Hitchcock, 23. Jason Williams, 27. Frank Keita, 28. Montel Joseph.
Who was your man of the match against Boreham Wood?
- Reece Prestedge (29%, 102 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (24%, 83 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (11%, 40 Votes)
- Magnus Okuonghae (9%, 33 Votes)
- Kevin Lokko (8%, 27 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (6%, 21 Votes)
- Seth Nana-Twumasi (5%, 19 Votes)
- Joe Pigott (2%, 7 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (2%, 6 Votes)
- Tom Mills (2%, 6 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (2%, 6 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 350