Tuesday 27 November 2018 // National League // Attendance: 1,570 (38 Eastleigh supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
There was to be no confidence boosting result for the Stones ahead of their FA Cup tie on Saturday as they followed up their thrashing at Havant and Waterlooville with a home defeat against play-off chasing Eastleigh. Perhaps an even a greater concern for Maidstone United was the injury to key player Blair Turgott who was forced off towards half time with what might be a knee problem.
Both sides struggled to create much in the first half in a swirling wind at the Gallagher Stadium. On nine minutes, debutant Dan Wishart slid the ball down the line to Blair Turgott who stood the ball up towards the far post. Jake Cassidy was waiting to pounce only for Cavaghn Miley to head the ball behind. Then at the other end, the ball suddenly came to Danny Hollands who was in a good position and he didn’t probably realise quite how much time he had as he lifted the ball over the bar.
Wishart was enjoying a bright start to his Maidstone career and on 33 minutes he took a short throw to Jack Powell. Powell returned the ball to Wishart who cut inside and hit a low drive which appeared to take a deflection as it went wide.
The Stones did have the ball in the net five minutes later. Olu Durojaiye whipped the ball into the box where it was met by Elliott Romain who showed textbook technique with an overhead kick that beat Ross Fitney but Romain was adjudged to be in an offside position.
However, matters were to get much worse for Maidstone before the half was out. First of all Blair Turgott had to be substituted after suffering an injury and then three minutes into first half stoppage time, the Stones fell behind. A corner from Mark Yeates was played to Cavaghn Miley who was outside the box and he picked out Joe Jones who squeezed the ball inside the left hand post to record his first goal for Eastleigh.
In the immediate moments after the break, the Stones appeared to be a bit uncertain defensively. Eastleigh had three corners in the opening seven minutes and their best chance early on came on 49 minutes. Paul McCallum slipped the ball into Oscar Gobern who only had Grant Smith to beat but Smith was smartly off his line to concede the corner.
Then just before the hour, Eastleigh doubled their lead. Poor defending from the Stones allowed Yeates’ corner to go straight to McCallum who headed the ball down and into the net.
The Stones huffed and puffed but didn’t offer much threat in front of goal until the last minute apart from when Jake Cassidy pulled the ball back to Romain and it rebounded off the Maidstone striker and went straight to Ross Fitney. Then on 85 minutes, Eastleigh ensured the victory. Yeates’ free-kick went to the unmarked Jones who headed in unopposed at the left post.
There was still time for Maidstone to register a consolation goal. Michael Phillips managed to head in at the near post but the goal couldn’t disguise a largely disappointing performance from the Stones.
Maidstone United: Michael Phillips 89
Eastleigh: Joe Jones 45, Paul McCallum 59, 85
Maidstone United: 1. Grant Smith, 6. Alex Finney, 5. Will De Havilland, 20. Simon Walton, 8. Jack Powell, 22. Michael Phillips 17. Olu Durojaiye (28. Aryan Tajbakhshm 63), 16. Dan Wishart, 11. Blair Turgott (18. Sean Shields 42), 9. Elliott Romain, 24. Jake Cassidy. Subs not used:12. Joshua Strizovic, 25. Rob Swaine, 3. George McLennan.
Eastleigh: 13. Ross Fitney, 2. Joshua Hare (12. Callum Baughan 89), 4. Oscar Gobern, 9. Paul McCallum (8. James Constable 90), 10. Mark Yeates (16. Ollie Dennett 88), 14. Andrew Boyce, 15. Alex Wynter, 17. Cavaghn Miley, 18. Ben Willamson, 19. Danny Hollands, 22. Joe Jones. Subs not used: 11. Chris Zebroski, 21. Tom Bearwish.
Who was your man of the match against Eastleigh? Total Voters: 95
Who was your man of the match against Eastleigh?
Total Voters: 95