Tuesday 19 March 2019 // Kent Senior Cup Semi Final //Attendance 1,389 (428 Gillingham supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
The Stones are into the final of the Kent Senior Cup as they defeated Gillingham in a penalty shoot out at the Gallagher Stadium.
Maidstone twice came from behind to draw level against their football league opponents who fielded a side which had a reasonable amount of League One experience this season.
It didn’t take long for the Gills to open the scoring. With eight minutes gone, Maidstone couldn’t get the ball clear and Josh Rees pounced to slot the ball into the net.
Ben Chapman then tried to pick out Rees with a driven cross but Will De Havilland did enough to divert the ball wide before the Stones equalised on 18 minutes. Dan Meredith stood a cross up from the right and Elliott Romain got up well to head the ball past Tom Hadler.
Not long after this, Romain had a decent opportunity to give Maidstone the lead. Once again Meredith delivered a ball into the box which was at a good height for Romain and this time the Stones’ striker side footed the chance over the bar.
The game was fairly even at this point but seven minutes before the break, Billy King sent a long ball forward. Elliott List, who scored the winner for Gillingham as they beat Cardiff City in the FA Cup in January, still had much to do as he showed a burst of pace to gain possession and get past Jarvis Edobor before dispatching a fine finish past Dion-Curtis Henry.
Maidstone then could have responded immediately. Romain got in behind the Gillingham defence and only had Hadler to beat only to lift the ball over the bar. But just minutes after the break, Justin Amaluzor suddenly got onto a loose ball inside the Gillingham box and he thumped a fine finish into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Just past the hour, Regan Charles-Cook curled the ball just wide from outside the box before the Stones went close. There was a scramble inside the Gillingham area and Leo Donnellan reacted quickest to get a rising shot away which Hadler did well to tip over the bar. And it was then Dion-Curtis Henry’s turn to stand out in goal as he got down smartly to turn a deflected effort from Chapman wide.
There was then nothing much to note until late on when Maidstone sent on Blair Turgott and Jake Powell. A poor clearance from Hadler went straight to Donnellan who found Powell and he ran forward before trying to slip the ball into Turgott but Hadler was smartly off his line and he smothered the ball. Then in stoppage time, Amaluzor tried to pick his spot with a shot from the edge of the box and Hadler made a comfortable save.
With the game ending in a draw, the tie went straight to penalties. Powell was the first player up to take a spot kick and he fired the ball down the middle of the goal and then List saw Gillingham’s first penalty expertly saved by Henry. Amaluzor’s penalty was also saved and Darren Oldaker levelled the scores before Donnellan sent Hadler the wrong way and Rees was successful for the Gills. Dan Wishart put the Stones back in front and Billy King skied his penalty over the bar leaving Blair Turgott with the chance to score the winning penalty and put Maidstone into the final.
Maidstone United: Elliott Romain 18, Justin Amaluzor
Gillingham: Josh Rees 8, Elliott List 38
Maidstone United: 1. Dion-Curtis Henry, 2. Dan Meredith, 5. Will De Havilland, 30. Jarvis Edobor, 16. Dan Wishart, 17. Leo Donnellan, 10. Jack Paxman (11. Blair Turgott 84), 6. Aron Davies, 22. Michael Phillips (8. Jack Powell 85), 14. Justin Amaluzor, 9. Elliott Romain. Subs not used: 12. Josh Strizovic, 20. Simon Walton, 23. Jack Richards.
Gillingham: 30. Tom Hadler, 22. Ben Chapman, 4. Alex Lacey, 25. Jack Tucker, 3. Bradley Garmston, 20. Darren Oldaker, 24. Josh Rees, 11. Regan Charles-Cook, 21. Billy King, 15. Elliott List, 14. Tahvon Campbell. Subs not used: 32. Louie Catherall, 19. Aaron Simpson, 28. Henry Woods, 25. Bradley Stevenson, 18. Jack Morrell.
Who was your man of the match against Gillingham?
- Jarvis Edobor (24%, 64 Votes)
- Justin Amaluzor (13%, 36 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (13%, 35 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (9%, 25 Votes)
- Blair Turgott (7%, 18 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (6%, 17 Votes)
- Leo Donnellan (6%, 17 Votes)
- Dan Meredith (6%, 16 Votes)
- Dion-Curtis Henry (5%, 14 Votes)
- Aron Davies (5%, 13 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (3%, 8 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (3%, 7 Votes)
- Jack Powell (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 271