Saturday 25 November 2017 // Vanarama National League // Attendance: 4,126 // Report by Ruth Tunnell
It has been a mixed week for Maidstone United. Whilst there was good news with regards to the land alongside the Gallagher Stadium during the week, on the pitch things have been much more difficult as the Stones were thrashed 4-0 in consecutive matches.
Boreham Wood were the first side to inflict such a defeat on Maidstone on Tuesday night but the Stones travelled to Tranmere Rovers on the back of seven victories in a row so they might have been hopeful that they could have turned their recent sticky patch around. However, it quickly became evident that Rovers were going to be difficult opponents. With just five minutes gone, Adam Buxton gave the ball to James Norwood who was in space on the right hand side of the box but he tried to shoot across Lee Worgan and the Maidstone keeper made the save.
Shortly after this, the Stones were awarded a free-kick out on the left deep inside the Tranmere half. Zavon Hines swung the ball into the box where it dropped straight onto the toes of Reece Prestedge before going wide.
Then on eight minutes, Rovers did go in front. Eddie Clarke sent over a delightful cross from the left leaving James Norwood with the simple tasking of knocking the ball past Worgan.
Tranmere continued to look dangerous with the front pair of Andy Cook and James Norwood causing the Stones defence problems. The two players combined to put Cook in on goal only for Worgan to make a decent save with his feet and from the rebound, Cook found the side netting.
But Worgan was left to pick the ball out of the net once again on 17 minutes. Norwood and Connor Jennings were involved in the build up as the ball came into Cook who turned past Alex Finney and then sent a low finish into the right side of the goal.
Having been second best until this point, the Stones gradually came into the match more. Delano Sam-Yorke made progress down the right and pulled the ball back to Joe Pigott who thumped the ball wide of the near post.
Buxton then crossed for Jennings who had sneaked into a central position inside the area and his header just cleared the bar before Maidstone should have pulled a goal back. Pigott played a lovely ball into the area to Hines who only had Scott Davies to beat but Hines was too casual with his attempted finish and his attempted dink finish went straight into Davies.
Not long before the break, the Stones had another good chance to reduce the deficit. Once again Pigott was involved as this time he put Sam-Yorke in. Sam Yorke spun round to find Davies closing the gap quickly and as he tried to lift the ball over Davies, the Tranmere keeper did well to claw the ball away from goal.
In contrast to the first half, the game entered a long lull after the break during which neither side created anything notable. That was until the 78th minute when Tranmere made sure of the victory. Worgan tried to palm away a cross and the ball just went outside the box. Ollie Norburn was waiting to collect it and he took a touch before curling a nice finish into the unguarded net.
Tranmere, sensing a comprehensive victory, upped the tempo in the remaining moments. Buxton let fly with a vicious drive from 35 yards which took a deflection only for Worgan to make a good block. However, on 84 minutes, another stinging effort from Buxton paid dividends as Worgan parried Buxton’s effort and Norwood pounced to finish from close range.
Tranmere Rovers: James Norwood 8, 84, Andy Cook 17, Ollie Norburn 78
Maidstone United: –
Tranmere Rovers: 1. Scott Davies, 2. Adam Buxton, 4. Ritchie Sutton, 15. Ollie Norburn (33. Josh Kay 87), 18. Dylan Mottley-Henry (30. Devarn Green 85), 28. Evan Gumbs, 31. Eddie Clarke, 32. Ollie Banks, 11. Connor Jennings, 9. Andy Cook, 10. James Norwood. Subs not used: 25. Luke Pilling, 6. Jay McEveley, 23. Elliot Rokka.
Maidstone United: 1. Lee Worgan, 16. Seth Nana Twumasi, 3. Alex Finney, 6. Magnus Okuonghae, 13. Joe Anderson, 4. Reece Prestedge (7. Jamar Loza 54), 8. Stuart Lewis, 14. Jai Reason, 32. Joe Pigott, 27. Zavon Hines (11. Tom Wraight 81), 9. Delano Sam-Yorke. Subs not used: 23. Jack Richards, 21. Harry Phipps, 22. Johan ter Horst.
Who was your man of the match against Tranmere Rovers?
- Lee Worgan (30%, 21 Votes)
- Joe Pigott (24%, 17 Votes)
- Delano Sam-Yorke (14%, 10 Votes)
- Stuart Lewis (10%, 7 Votes)
- Zavon Hines (8%, 6 Votes)
- Reece Prestedge (3%, 2 Votes)
- Joe Anderson (3%, 2 Votes)
- Seth Nana Twumasi (3%, 2 Votes)
- Tom Wraight (3%, 2 Votes)
- Jai Reason (1%, 1 Votes)
- Jamar Loza (1%, 1 Votes)
- Magnus Okuonghae (0%, 0 Votes)
- Alex Finney (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 71