Maidstone Mens 1s
|Date||Saturday 21st January|
|Scorers||Mark Rimmer, Iain Brine|
Maidstone Start off 2012 with a Win
Maidstone 1st XI gained revenge on fellow strugglers Purley in their Southern Premier 2 return fixture.
After losing 6-0 away in what was by far and away Maidstone's worst performance of the season the team were determined not to give a repeat performance. Since then Maidstone have improved significantly and were fully expected to dominate this match. However the Christmas break seemed to have affected them as they struggled to retain possession of the ball when going forwards and constantly gave it away. Luckily a poor Purley were unable to take advantage and some fierce defending lead by Maidstone skipper Nick Leatherbarrow ensured they remained chanceless for most of the half. Maidstone were at least able to exact some saves from the Purley keeper but with 25 minutes gone it was the away side that took the lead when Maidstone were once again caught in possession having committed too many men forward. They seized the initiative and a quick break down the right wing led to the goal.
After a public telling off at half time Maidstone emerged from their shells to take control of the game for a masterful 20 minutes. Maidstone were at last able to apply sustained pressure to the Purley D and were finally rewarded with a short corner which was well tucked away by Iain Brine from a clever routine. On drawing level Maidstone were able to raise it another gear and enjoyed several sharp attacks led by man of the match Jeremy Swaffer. The well nourished Swaffer had combined well with his team mates all game and was soon to make it count, playing in Mark Rimmer who deftly finished the move. At 2-1 up and cruising Maidstone saw several more chances slip by and gradually let Purley back into the game. Despite going down to 10 men Purley hit back with short corners of their own forcing saves from keeper Darren Marchant. Maidstone ensured a nail-biting end to the game when they also had a man sent off due to a reckless challenge. However they did just enough and were able to keep Purley out until the final whistle.
Maidstone will need to improve on this performance if they are to take 3 points from their next match: home to Lewes on 28th January.