Saturday 22 December 2018 // National League // Attendance: 2,131 (37 Gateshead supporters) // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Defeat against Gateshead means that Maidstone United will end 2018 with just four home wins in the league this year.
Just two minutes had gone when JJ O’Donnell made progress down the right. He played the ball into Luke Armstrong who flicked the ball towards goal only for it to loop just over.
There was then some good link up play for the Stones between Sean Shields and Jake Robinson. Shields turned and sent the ball into the box where it was met by Robinson and his header went just over.
Maidstone went close again twice in quick succession. First of all Jack Paxman stung the hands of goalkeeper Aynsley Pears with a shot from 25 yards before excellent work from Jake Cassidy released Robinson but Pears was smartly off his line to make the block.
However, with 25 minutes gone, the Stones fell behind. Luke Molyneux cut inside and picked his spot to fire past Ross Worner from the edge of the box.
Scott Barrow then bent a free-kick around the wall which Worner beat away before the visitors doubled their lead on 33 minutes. A short corner from Molyneux came to Robbie Tinker whose effort from distance flew into the net.
Just before the break, Dan Wishart’s shot towards the neat post was pushed behind by Pears. The resultant corner was played back in by Shields and Elliott Romain’s header went just over the bar.
Matters got even worse for Maidstone on 56 minutes. Michael Phillips had the ball nicked off him by Molyneux who strolled into the box and rolled the finish past Worner.
Scott Boden then had a first time shot from a long way out which went wide before the Stones gave themselves a glimmer of hope of getting back into the match with 11 minutes to go. Shields turned past Tom Devitt and put the ball into the middle of the box. Elliott Romain stooped to get his head to the ball and he was denied by a good save from Pears but Jake Cassidy arrived to lash in the rebound.
And just three minutes later, Maidstone pulled another goal back. The Stones were putting Gateshead under pressure and there was a goalmouth scramble before the ball eventually came out to substitute Jack Powell who whipped the ball towards the near post and George McLennan sent a deft finish into the net.
Unfortunately for the Stones though, they couldn’t find an equaliser. The closest they came was in stoppage time when Powell’s corner was met by Worner and the Maidstone keeper saw his header go over the bar.
Maidstone United: Jake Cassidy 79, George McLennan 82
Gateshead: Luke Molyneux 25, 56, Robbie Tinker 33
Maidstone United: 1. Ross Worner, 18. Sean Shields, 3. George McLennan, 22. Michael Phillips, 20. Simon Walton, 16. Dan Wishart, 10. Jack Paxman (28. Aryan Tajbakhsh 61), 21. Ollie Muldoon (8. Jack Powell 61), 9. Elliott Romain, 19. Jake Robinson, 24. Jake Cassidy. Subs not used: 12. Joshua Strizovic, 25. Rob Swaine, 29. Charlie Wassmer.
Gateshead: 23. Aynsley Pears, 2. Robbie Tinker, 5. Fraser Kerr, 21. Luke Molyneux, 12. Jon Mellish (18. Tom Devitt 77), 14. JJ O’Donnell, 4. Jack Hunter, 15. Tom White, 3. Scott Barrow, 9. Luke Armstrong (10. Steve Rigg 66), 19. Scott Boden. Subs not used: 1. Mark Foden, 7. Connor Thomson, 11. Cameron Salkeld.
Who was your man of the match against Gateshead?
- George McLennan (31%, 31 Votes)
- Jake Cassidy (20%, 20 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (15%, 15 Votes)
- Sean Shields (13%, 13 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (6%, 6 Votes)
- Jake Robinson (4%, 4 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (4%, 4 Votes)
- Simon Walton (3%, 3 Votes)
- Ross Worner (3%, 3 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (1%, 1 Votes)
- Aryan Tajbakhsh (1%, 1 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jack Powell (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 101