Saturday 16 August // Vanarama National League South // Attendance: 2,037 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
For the first time since the Gallagher Stadium opened, Maidstone United have lost two home matches in a row as solitary strike from Jose Lapoujade gave Oxford City the victory.
This was a strange match in which neither keeper made a significant save and it was one which illustrated starkly the difference between Ryman level and the Vanarama National League South for the Stones. For if this had been a game last season Maidstone would have gained at least a point.
It was the Stones who shaded a first half where chances were at a premium. With 16 minutes gone, Mitchell Pinnock hurled a long throw into the six yard box where it was headed down by Steve Watt. Jay May latched onto the bouncing ball and finished from close range but he was adjudged to be in an offside position.
Shortly afterwards, it was the visitors turn to threaten. Bradley Bubb got in behind the Maidstone defence only for Lee Worgan to race off his line quickly and make a stop with his feet.
Bobby-Joe Taylor was then involved as he set up a header for Steve Watt which went just wide. Then it was the Maidstone wide man himself who had an attempt on goal as he latched onto a half volley from distance which flew just wide.
As the half time whistle came closer, Jack Paxman did well to dispossess Adrian Santiago and the Maidstone player ran towards goal. Paxman delayed his shot as he entered the area and in the end, his effort went wide of the right hand post.
In first half stoppage time, Callum Driver picked out Jay May. May did well to bring the ball under control but his resultant shot was wide and then May turned provider as he put Pinnock in on goal only for a combination of Santiago and Laurie Walker in the Oxford goal to snuff out the danger.
With 56 minutes on the clock, Paxman found Bobby-Joe Taylor out on the right. Taylor did well to keep the ball in play and he picked out May inside the box who sent a half volley into the car park behind the goal at the Town End.
But just before the hour mark, Oxford suddenly went in front. Jose Lapoujade picked up possession not far from the outside of the box and he drilled in a low shot which went past Lee Worgan into the right hand side of the net.
Jay Saunders then exchanged May for Frannie Collin as the Stones sought an equaliser and the Maidstone marksman was immediately involved. With 68 minutes he was brought down about 30 yards from goal and he got up to take the free-kick which went just over the bar.
The play then swung to the other end. Bradley Bubb got in behind Tom Mills and hit a low shot goalwards which Steve Watt made sure went behind for a corner. And then the final action of the game saw substitute Frannie Collin pick out Joe Healy with a free-kick but his looping header was easily held by Laurie Walker in the Oxford goal.
Maidstone United: –
Oxford City: Jose Lapoujade 59
Oxford City: Laurie Walker, Luke Coulson, Jose Lapoujade, Ander Del Alamo, John Arzemedi, Adrian Santiago, Kynan Isaac (Jamal Lawrence 57), Darren Pond, Bradley Bubb, Reece Fleet (Declan Benjamin 83), Carlos Pifarre (Julian Lafuente 45). Subs not used: Lee Henderson, Craig Hill.
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan, Callum Driver, Tom Mills, Steve Watt, Manny Parry, Alex Brown, Bobby-Joe Taylor (Matt Bodkin 71), Joe Healy, Jay May (Frannie Collin 65), Jack Paxman (Alex Akrofi 74), Mitchell Pinnock. Subs not used: Jamie Coyle, Simon Johnson.
Man of the Match poll
Who was your man of the match against Oxford City?
- Alex Brown (39%, 74 Votes)
- Manny Panny (15%, 29 Votes)
- Callum Driver (13%, 25 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (11%, 21 Votes)
- Bobby-Joe Taylor (5%, 10 Votes)
- Lee Worgan (4%, 7 Votes)
- Steve Watt (3%, 5 Votes)
- Matt Bodkin (3%, 5 Votes)
- Tom Mills (2%, 4 Votes)
- Jay May (2%, 3 Votes)
- Joe Healy (2%, 3 Votes)
- Alex Akrofi (1%, 2 Votes)
- Mitchell Pinnock (1%, 1 Votes)
- Frannie Collin (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 190