Saturday 17 September // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 2,106 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
The Stones came within a whisker of becoming Guiseley’s first defeated opponents of the season as the Lions missed a great opportunity in stoppage time at the end of this match to get their first win in 11 games.
Having taken an early lead, Maidstone might have been expected to win this match comfortably. And they created plenty of chances, plus had a decent appeal for a penalty waived away, to have been out of sight by half time. But the Stones let Guiseley back into the match during the second period and the visitors deservedly took a point from the game thanks to an equaliser from Reece Webb-Foster.
Guiseley started in a determined mood and they could have boosted their fragile confidence by taking an early lead. With just six minutes gone they strung together a neat move involving Oli Johnson, Simon Walton and Adam Boyes and with the goal opening up, Boyes’ weak shot went straight at Lee Worgan.
The Maidstone keeper was called into action again shortly after this. Nicky Clee sent a free-kick into the box which was met by Johnson and his header was going in until Worgan made a fine diving stop.
But as the half progressed, the Stones started to get a foothold in the game. Their first chance of the afternoon came when a short corner from Bobby-Joe Taylor went to Jack Paxman who cut inside but Jonathan Maxted pushed the ball away from the line.
However, on 14 minutes, Maidstone did find a way past Maxted. Dan Sweeney swept the ball forward to Taylor who threaded it through via Nathan Mavila to Alex Flisher and with the Guiseley defence stopped as they expected an offside flag, Flisher forced the ball past Maxted.
It wasn’t long until the Stones thought they had pulled further ahead. A curling free-kick from Taylor was met at the near post by Liam Enver-Marum who was adjudged to be in an offside position as he headed into the net.
Play soon moved to the other end. Boyes played the ball back to Michael Rankine who was on the edge of the box and his thumping effort went just wide.
Then with 26 minutes gone, Flisher once again got in behind the Guiseley defence but Maxsted did well to make the block. And then shortly after this, Enver-Marum was in on goal and appeared to be fouled by Javan Vidal before he could get a shot away. No penalty was forthcoming though and Vidal unfortunately suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury during the process.
Not long before the break, Taylor’s curling free-kick from close to the edge of the area looked to be creeping in only for Maxted to make a superb save to turn the ball wide. Then from the resultant corner, Maidstone re-gained possession and Sweeney found Taylor who crossed for the unmarked Flisher who headed the ball straight at Maxted.
Guiseley had been hampered by the fact that they had to make all three substitutions before the interval due to injuries but in the second half, the Stones started to back off as the Lions sensed that they might be able to get something from the game. With 52 minutes played, one of the substitutes Jordan Preston went close with a shot from distance and then seconds later, another substitute, Webb-Foster was given the space for an effort which also didn’t miss the goal by much.
The Stones should have heeded these warnings but they didn’t and they were made to pay when Webb-Foster equalised not long past the hour. Webb-Foster was allowed time to swivel close to the edge of the box and he then picked his spot and fired a nice finish past Worgan.
As time began to run out, Guiseley began to look like they could nick their first win of the season. Walton played the ball in behind Tom Mills who slipped and let in Boyes but Boyes’ ball went all the way across the six yard box without getting a vital touch.
Preston then beat the offside trap to get into the area with Anthony Achaempong in attendance but the Guiseley player ran the ball out. Then it was Maidstone’s turn to go close as Paxman played a delightful ball into substitute Yemi Odubade who only had Maxted to beat but the debutant saw his shot saved.
By now both sides were pushing hard for a winner. The ball sat up nicely for Dan Sweeney about 20 yards out and his low effort was on target only for Maxsted to once again come to the rescue for the visitors. From the resultant corner, the Stones forced another corner which was also taken by Ben Greenhalgh and his cross was met by Jamie Coyle who saw his header hit the bar.
The last chance of the game fell to the Lions though and they should have got their first win of the 2016 / 2017 campaign with the opportunity. Maidstone lost possession from their own free-kick and Webb-Foster put Preston in on goal. Worgan was quickly off his line to block Preston’s shot but the Guiseley player was obviously not expecting the ball to rebound to him and he poked it inches wide of the left hand post.
Maidstone United: Alex Flisher 14
Guiseley: Reece Webb-Foster 65
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 12. Jack Evans, 15. Anthony Acheampong, 4. Jamie Coyle, 3. Tom Mills, 25. Nathan Mavila, (14. Tom Murphy, 62), 8. Dan Sweeney, 10. Jack Paxman, 16. Bobby-Joe Taylor, (23. Yemi Odubade 73), 11. Alex Flisher, 24. Liam Enver-Marum 71, (17. Ben Greenhalgh 78 (7)). Subs not used: 6. James Rogers, 9. Jay May,
Guiseley: 26. Jonathan Maxted,4. Javan Vidal (15. Ashley Palmer 32),25. Robert Atkinson, 6. Jake Lawlor, 3. Danny Lowe, 10. Ollie Johnson (Jordan Preston 24), 22. Alex Purver, 24. Simon Walton, 18. Nicky Clee, 9. Adam Boyes, 11. Micheal Rankine (27. Reece Webb-Foster 45. Subs not used: 16. Will Wells, 17. Daniel Atkinson.
Who was your man of the match against Guiseley
- Alex Flisher (35%, 54 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (12%, 18 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (10%, 15 Votes)
- Dan Sweeney (9%, 14 Votes)
- Tom Mills (7%, 10 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (6%, 9 Votes)
- Jack Evans (5%, 8 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (5%, 8 Votes)
- Liam Enver-Marum (3%, 5 Votes)
- Nathan Mavlia (3%, 5 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (1%, 2 Votes)
- Anthony Acheampong (1%, 2 Votes)
- Ben Greenhalgh (1%, 2 Votes)
- Tom Murphy (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 153