Maidstone Men's 1s
|Date||Saturday 10th December|
|Scorers||Joe Martin (2), Iain Brine, Olly Mitchell|
Maidstone edge seven goal thrille
Maidstone 1st XI had their second seven goal match of December but reversed the previous week's score to run out 4-3 winners against Epsom in their last Southern premier 2 game of 2011.
Missing their skipper and two further senior players Maidstone went into this must win fixture with a weakened squad. The game started an edgy affair with both teams showing plenty of nerves but it was Epsom who moved ahead with a well worked short corner goal after a rash Maidstone challenge. However this spurred the away side in to playing some good hockey and were soon enjoying plenty of attacking possession and short corners of their own. Joe Martin was able to get onto the end of one of these to bring the sides level and for the rest of the half it was all Maidstone. Man of the match Will Hutchins continued to be Maidstone's chief attacking outlet and was able to open up the Epsom back line time and time again. 5 minutes from the half time interval and Joe Martin had put Maidstone ahead with a second deflection of the game. However with seconds to go in the first half Epsom equalised with the best goal of the game - a slick move of first time passes and a clever finish.
Maidstone started the second half full of belief and enjoyed the better of the half. The match started to open up and though both teams took advantage it was Maidstone's defence and keeper who were the more resolute as they were able to deal with infrequent Epsom attacks. At the other end Maidstone used the space well and attacked at pace, worrying the Epsom back line. Some good saves and poor finishing kept Epsom in it for 20 minutes but they were unable to prevent Maidstone from taking the lead from another short corner. Iain Brine's off target drag flick came back off the post and he was on hand to score with a well taken finish. As the game drew to a close Epsom pushed harder for an equaliser but this only played into Maidstone's hands and Joe Martin was able to exploit the extra space. His attack down the left found Olly Mitchell free in the D who showed his class as he rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home. At 4-2 the game was Maidstone's and despite Epsom scoring from another short corner after time had been blown the away side ran out 4-3 winners.