Tuesday 12 February 2019 // National League // Attendance: 880 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
Maidstone United have equaled their best ever run in the FA Trophy after they overcame Salford City with relative ease in a replay at the Gallagher Stadium.
The last time the Stones reached this stage of the competition, they went out to Burton Albion in a replay back in 1987. This season, Maidstone’s reward for beating a Salford side which did contain a number of academy players, is a trip to National League North side Stockport County in the quarter finals.
The Stones started strongly. A driven corner from Ollie Muldoon came to Simon Walton who saw his shot blocked. Elliott Romain kept the ball alive and it eventually came out to Aron Davies whose curling effort cleared the bar.
Romain then stung the hands of Max Crocombe with a low drive from distance but Crocombe recovered quickly as Jack Paxman threatened to pounce. Then on nine minutes Maidstone did take the lead. Jack Powell made good progress down the left before sending over a ball into the corridor of uncertainty and there to meet it was Michael Phillips who finished from close range.
Romain was continuing to look lively and he slipped a neat pass into Muldoon. Muldoon only had Crocombe to beat but the angle was very tight and his attempted clipped finish went straight at the Salford keeper.
The Stones then went close to adding a second goal on 20 minutes. Dan Wishart did well to fashion a cross from the left and Phillips got up at the far post only to see his header come back off a combination of Crocombe and the post.
As the half moved towards the break, Salford began to come into the game more. Dion-Curtis Henry came out of his goal and managed to get something on the ball as he attempted to punch it clear but unfortunately for the Stones, Simon Walton sustained what looked like an arm injury in the process and had to be substituted. From Henry’s attempted punch, the ball dropped to Gus Mafuta who was just outside the area and with a crowded box in front of him, he put the ball wide.
Then with the game in stoppage time, Kieran Glynn passed to Devante Redmond who worked the ball to Mafuta. Mafuta was close to the edge of the box and from a central position, he drove the ball inches wide of the left post.
Salford continued their improvement after the break but they didn’t threaten Henry in the Maidstone goal and it wasn’t long until the Stones doubled their lead. Just before this, Paxman had struck a first-time volley from outside the box which had gone close and then on the hour mark, the Stones scored again. Davies curled the ball into Romain whose touch allowed him to create room for a shot which he confidently sent under Crocombe.
The visitors were then nearly gifted a way back into the match. Kamar Moncrieffe put what looked like a simple low cross into the box for Henry to deal with but somehow the Maidstone keeper made a mess of the situation and the ball ended up going back towards goal before Will De Havilland kept his composure to hack it clear.
After surviving this very brief wobble, the Stones saw out the remaining moments comfortably. With ten minutes remaining, Maidstone were awarded a free-kick about 25 yards out. Jack Powell stepped up to take it and he sent the ball only just over the bar. And not long after this, Phillips turned inside the box and hit a fierce effort goalwards which Crocombe beat away.
There was still time for the Stones to add some gloss to the scoreline. On 88 minutes, substitute Jack Richards’s low corner went all the way into the six yard box and Will De Havilland had the simple task of knocking the ball in from close range.
Maidstone United: Michael Phillips 6, Elliott Romain 60, Will De Havilland 88
Maidstone United: 1. Dion-Curtis Henry, 5. Will De Havilland, 6. Aron Davies, 27. Shaun Donnellan, 16. Dan Wishart, 21. Ollie Muldoon (23. Jack Richards 86), 10. Jack Paxman (2. Dan Meredith 82), 20. Simon Walton (28. Aryan Tajbakhsh 41), 22. Michael Phillips, 8. Jack Powell, 9. Elliott Romain. Subs not used: 12. Josh Strizovic, 25. Rob Swaine.
Salford City: 12. Max Crocombe, 35. Sam Adetiloye (42. Taylor Dyson 66), 26. James Jones, 41. Markell Foulds, 34. Alex Doyle, 4. Gus Mafuta, 14. Josh Askew (40. Douglas James-Taylor 78), 27. Kieran Glynn, 39. Kamar Moncrieffe, 15. Devante Redmond, 20. Mani Dieseruvwe (28. Emmanuel Ogunrinde 89). Subs not used: 31. George Neave, 36. William Shephard.
Who was your man of the match against Salford City?
- Elliott Romain (46%, 85 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (13%, 24 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (8%, 15 Votes)
- Jack Powell (7%, 13 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (7%, 12 Votes)
- Aron Davies (4%, 8 Votes)
- Dion-Curtis Henry (4%, 7 Votes)
- Dan Wishart (2%, 4 Votes)
- Aryan Tajbakhsh (2%, 4 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (2%, 3 Votes)
- Jack Richards (2%, 3 Votes)
- Shaun Donnellan (1%, 2 Votes)
- Simon Walton (1%, 2 Votes)
- Dan Meredith (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 183