Saturday 10 October // FA Cup Third Qualifying Round // Attendance: 1,583 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Two goals from Alex Osborne and Jay May in the later stages of the second half were enough to see the Stones continue their fine run of form as they defeated Dunstable Town in the FA Cup.
This game is unlikely to go down as one of Maidstone’s classic FA Cup encounters but there was always a feeling that the Stones would have too much for their Southern League opponents even though the goals didn’t come until relatively late on in the match.
The Stones started brightly enough and with ten minutes gone, Adam Birchall’s overhead ball into the box caused a scramble in the box. Paul Bastock managed to get a touch and the ball dropped inside the six yard box but neither Jay May or Joe Healy could latch onto the rebound.
Not long after this, Alex Osborne showed good feet in midfield. Healy then gained possession and he played it back to Osborne who squared the ball to Jay May inside the box and May flicked it up before volleying well over the bar.
There was then nothing to note until the 32nd minute when Adam Watkins took the ball off Jack Paxman. Watkins made it to the edge of the area but his shot went straight at Lee Worgan. Then seconds later, Jamale McKenzie-Lowe was allowed to roam forwards and his rising effort from distance went inches over the bar.
It was then Dunstable’s turn to go close again. This time Geoff Mitchell went past Steve Watt and hit a low effort which Worgan got down to his left to turn wide before Maidstone had the last chance of the half. Some good movement and control from May enabled him to pass to Birchall but he was under pressure from two defenders and he never connected properly with the ball as he shot straight at Bastock.
The Stones started to pick up the pace in the second half as Dunstable looked to defend resolutely. On 47 minutes, the visitors stood off as Healy found Birchall only for his rising shot to go just over the bar.
Maidstone then strung together a neat move. Paxman played the ball out to Matt Bodkin and his ball into the box towards the near post was met by Healy and from an awkward angle, his side footed effort went just wide.
Dunstable immediately went up the other end and went close to taking the lead against the run of play. Mitchell got past Watt and hit a low drive which Worgan did well to stop at his near post with his feet. With many in the ground following the path of the ball, Mitchell then appeared to kick out at Watt and the referee, Mr Lymer, had no hesitation in sending Mitchell off.
By now, Maidstone were dominating play. With 67 minutes gone, Callum Driver’s throw was flicked on by Watt to May who laid the ball off to Healy and his low shot was well stopped by Bastock in the Dunstable goal.
Then with just under 20 minutes remaining, the Stones finally broke the deadlock. Watt hit a good diagonal ball to Osborn who was on the left hand wing. Osborn ran forward before cutting inside and firing a fine low effort past the diving Bastock.
And then not long after this, Maidstone made certain of their place in the next round of the cup. Driver was involved in the early stages of the move and then Birchall put the ball out to Bodkin who crossed to May who rose unopposed to score from close range.
Maidstone United: Alex Osborn 71, Jay May 75
Dunstable Town: –
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Callum Driver, Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle, Steve Watt, Jack Paxman, Matt Bodkin (Alex Flisher 79), Joe Healy, Jay May (Alex Akrofi 77), Adam Birchall (Archie Wrigglesworth 90), Alex Osborn. Subs not used: Manny Parry, James Rogers, Bobby-Joe Taylor, Ben Brindle-Card.
Dunstable Town: Paul Bastock, David Keenleyside (Zac Reynolds 76), Luke Pennell, Danny Talbot, James Kaloczi, Adam Pepera, Adam Watkins, Gary Wharton (Lorenzo Ferrari 82), Geoff Mitchell, Steven Gregory (Lee Roache 57), Jamale McKenzie-Lowe. Subs not used: Matt Nolan, Bart Pedrycz.
Who was your man of the match against Dunstable Town?
- Matt Bodkin (21%, 55 Votes)
- Alex Osborn (21%, 54 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (15%, 39 Votes)
- Archie Wrigglesworth (9%, 22 Votes)
- Callum Driver (6%, 16 Votes)
- Adam Birchall (5%, 12 Votes)
- Joe Healy (5%, 12 Votes)
- Jamie Coyle (4%, 9 Votes)
- Steve Watt (3%, 8 Votes)
- Jay May (3%, 8 Votes)
- Tom Mills (3%, 8 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (3%, 7 Votes)
- Alex Akrofi (1%, 3 Votes)
- Alex Flisher (1%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 256