Monday 1 January 2018 // National League // Attendance: 2,502// Report by Ruth Tunnell
A late equaliser from substitute Joe Anderson rescued a point for the Stones as this game between Maidstone and Dover finished with the same scoreline as the Boxing Day fixture.
With the players having to get through three matches over the festive period, it was no surprise that Jay Saunders made a couple of changes to the side that had drawn with Aldershot on Saturday. Johan ter Horst and Tom Wraight came into the team with Wraight having a particular influence as he got the first equaliser for the Stones.
The Stones went close with two free-kicks early on. The first came in from Wraight after ter Horst had been clipped and Mitch Walker had to be alert to push the ball over the bar. Then ter Horst was fouled again and this time Joe Pigott took the free-kick which was about 20 yards out towards the left side of the box and his effort thudded just wide of the left post.
Jamar Loza headed at Walker following a cross from Josh Hare before the Stones strung together a neat move on 18 minutes. Reece Prestedge played a good ball into Loza who worked his way into the box and he picked out Wraight who was in space in a central position inside the area and his shot was deflected just wide.
Not long after this, Dover broke quickly upfield. Mitch Pinnock crossed to Kadell Daniel who initially appeared to be in plenty of space. Just as Daniel went to shoot though, Alex Wynter arrived to make an important block.
However, there was nothing Maidstone could have done to prevent Dover from going in front on 27 minutes with a stunning strike. Prestedge was unfortunate to see the ball run into the path of Femi Ilesanmi after the Stones’ midfielder had tried to make the tackle and Ilesanmi sent a rocket of a shot flying into the top corner of the net from 30 yards out.
Lee Worgan nearly got caught out by an effort from distance from Pinnock but he managed to parry the ball and then the visitors went even closer still. A corner from Mitch Brundle came to Daniel and he turned before lifting the ball goalwards where it was cleared off the line by Prestedge.
Then with the game in first half stoppage time, there was another decent move from the Stones. This one ended with Pigott curling the ball towards the six yard box where the diving Stuart Lewis saw his header clawed around the post by Walker.
The second half took a little while to get going but on 69 minutes, Maidstone equalised. Pigott crossed from the left and Wraight showed his abilities in the air as he ran across to power a header past Walker.
The Stones starting pushing forward as they searched for a second goal but this allowed Dover to come back at them. The visitors went close when Ryan Bird’s header across the box came to the arriving substitute Liam Bellamy who put the inches wide.
And then on 76 minutes, Dover did score again. Nortei Nortey went on a surging run from his own half which took him past three Maidstone players and just after Magnus Okuonghae tried to tackle him, Nortey rounded off a piece of individual brilliance by riffling the ball off the left post and low into the net.
There was still time for another goal though as with 90 minutes on the clock, Maidstone levelled for the second time in the match. Substitute Jack Paxman slipped an excellent pass into fellow substitute Joe Anderson and Anderson showed great composure to confidently dispatch the ball past Walker.
Then deep in stoppage time, there was a scare for the Stones. Pinnock whipped a free-kick into the box which was met by Connor Essam but he was denied by a fantastic save from Worgan who got the ball away from the line.
Maidstone United: Tom Wraight 69, Joe Anderson 90
Dover Athletic: Femi Ilesanmi 27, Nortei Nortey 76
Dover Athletic: 1. Mitch Walker, 2. Josh Passley, 3. Femi Ilesanmi, 4. Giancario Gallifranco, 5. Manny Parry, 6. Connor Essam, 8. Mitch Brundle, 11. Mitch Pinnock, 17. Ryan Bird (19. James Alabi 86), 18. Nortei Nortey, 23. Kadell Daniel (28. Liam Bellamy 68). Subs not used: 7. Kane Richards, 12. Loui Fazakerley, 27. Aziz Deen-Conteh.
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 16. Seth Nana Twumasi, 6. Magnus Okuonghae, 5. Alex Wynter, 2. Josh Hare (13. Joe Anderson 81), 11. Tom Wraight (10. Jack Paxman 80), 4. Reece Prestedge, 8. Stuart Lewis, 7. Jamar Loza, 21. Johan ter Horst (9. Delano Sam-Yorke 63), 32. Joe Pigott. Subs not used: 14. Jai Reason, 15. Andy McCorkell.
Who was your man of the match against Dover Athletic?
- Seth Nana Twumasi (37%, 74 Votes)
- Tom Wraight (23%, 46 Votes)
- Alex Wynter (10%, 20 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (7%, 14 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (5%, 10 Votes)
- Reece Prestedge (3%, 6 Votes)
- Johan ter Horst (3%, 6 Votes)
- Joe Pigott (3%, 6 Votes)
- Jamar Loza (3%, 5 Votes)
- Joe Anderson (3%, 5 Votes)
- Josh Hare (1%, 2 Votes)
- Delano Sam-Yorke (1%, 2 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (1%, 2 Votes)
- Magnus Okuonghae (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 198