Sunday 6 November // Emirates FA Cup First Round // Attendance: 2,227 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
After the ecstasy of a late winner against Macclesfield last week, the Stones were on the receiving end of a huge disappointment in the FA Cup as Rochdale scored with the last kick of the match to deny Maidstone victory. The visitors’ equaliser four minutes into stoppage time was incredibly hard luck on the Stones who had produced their performance of the season against the League One side.
Right from the outset, the Stones had looked assured and they took the lead with 21 minutes gone. Alex Flisher did well to squeeze the ball to Jamar Loza and as the referee, Mr Breakspear, waived play on as Flisher had been impeded, Loza sprinted into the box. Just as Loza went to release the ball, he was fouled by Niall Canavan and Bobby-Joe Taylor scored with a well-placed penalty, firing the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Ten minutes before the break, Rochdale pulled the Maidstone defence about. Matty Lund was in space close to the edge of the box and his shot appeared to take a deflection before Steven Davies put the ball in from close range only for the linesman to flag for offside.
Not long after this, Taylor expertly slid the ball into Loza. Loza got into the box and hit a low shot goalwards but he was denied by a decent diving save from Josh Lillis in the Rochdale goal.
With the game in its early stages following the break, the visitors quickly moved the ball forwards. It came into Ollie Rathbone who was in a good position inside the box but Lee Worgan was equal to Rathbone’s low effort and the Maidstone keeper made a smart stop.
As the second half progressed, it was the Stones who looked the more likely of the two sides to score. Kevin Lokko got on the end of a corner from Taylor and his downwards header bounced just wide and then Callum Camps gave the ball away in midfield which allowed Taylor to make progress down the right. Taylor then passed to Liam Enver-Marum who was inside the box but unfortunately for Maidstone, Enver-Marum dragged his shot well wide.
Then just past the hour, Rochdale went close. Andy Cannon’s cross was met by Steven Davies whose header dropped just over the bar.
Maidstone continued to create chances though. One of these came when Jack Paxman won the ball in midfield and he released Alex Flisher. Flisher ran all the way through Rochdale’s half and when he got to the box he made room for a rising shot which didn’t miss by much.
Davies then hit the side netting for the visitors before Rochdale had a scramble in the box but Maidstone eventually cleared their lines. With time running out, Paxman battled hard to find Enver-Marum whose curling effort cleared the bar and then Taylor went agonisingly close to spectacular goal for the Stones as his fierce drive from distance only just cleared the bar.
Just as though it looked as though Maidstone might edge into the next round, Rochdale were awarded two free-kicks in stoppage time. The first was blocked but with just 30 seconds of the match left, Lokko was deemed to have committed a foul about 25 yards from goal in a central position. Callum Camps took the resultant free-kick and his effort flew into the net off the right hand post to give Rochdale a replay.
Maidstone United: Bobby-Joe Taylor 21 (pen)
Rochdale: Callum Camps 90
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 22. Seth Nana Twumasi, 5. Kevin Lokko, 15. Anthony Acheampong, 3. Tom Mills, 6. James Rogers, 10. Jack Paxman, 16. Bobby-Joe Taylor, 11. Alex Flisher, 24. Liam Enver-Marum (23. Yemi Odubade 85), 25. Jamar Loza (8. Dan Sweeney 82). Subs not used: 4. Jamie Coyle, 12. Jack Evans, 13. Ben Bridle-Card, 14. Tom Murphy, 17. Ben Greenhalgh,
Rochdale: 1. Josh Lillis, 2. Joe Rafferty, 5. Niall Canavan, 6. Harrison McGahey, 8. Matty Lund (4. Jim McNulty 64), 10. Callum Camps, 11. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (16. Reuben Noble-Lazarus 86), 14. Ollie Rathbone (12. Donal McDermott 64), 19. Steven Davies, 27. Andy Cannon, 39. Joe Bunney. Subs not used: 3. Scott Tanser, 25. Conrad Logan, 28. Aaron Morley, 36. Matthew Gillam.
Who was your man of the match against Rochdale?
- Jamar Loza (42%, 147 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (17%, 59 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (10%, 34 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (8%, 29 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (8%, 27 Votes)
- Kevin Lokko (4%, 14 Votes)
- Anthony Acheampong (3%, 12 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (3%, 9 Votes)
- James Roger (2%, 8 Votes)
- Liam Enver-Marum (1%, 5 Votes)
- Tom Mills (1%, 4 Votes)
- Yemi Odubade (1%, 4 Votes)
- Dan Sweeney (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 354