Maidstone Men's 1s
West Hampstead 1
|Date||Sunday 26th February|
|Scorers||Joe Martin , Jeremy Swaffer|
Top Table Oppo
Maidstone met a resurgent West Hampstead side in their second Southern Premier 2 match of the weekend, a team who knew that a win would take them to the top of the league.
Maidstone went into the game confident of causing an upset and knowing that they had the better of West Hampstead in the first game of the season. However from the off it was clear that West Hampstead had come a long way since then as they moved the ball well and retained possession for long periods which frustrated the Maidstone players. Though Maidstone were defending for large periods they worked hard and were able to limit the chances that the home side had whilst using the space this created to run at the West Hampstead defence. However with 15 minutes gone the Maidstone defence was breached and West Hampstead were able to squeeze the ball past Darren Marchant into the Maidstone goal. The away side continued to work hard and were rewarded when Joe Martin used the space afforded to the Maidstone forwards and spanked a reverse stick shot into the corner of the goal. Unfortunately this was short lived as West Hampstead reacted first in a congested Maidstone D to put the ball in and take a 2-1 lead into the second half.
In the second half Maidstone started well and continued to threaten the West Hampstead goal, the outcome of the game still in the balance. But with 10 minutes gone and Maidstone committing men into the attack the ball was weakly turned over and West Hampstead launched a quick counter attack, scoring before Maidstone could recover back. This cued a tough period for Maidstone as the heat and their reduced squad started to become apparent. Mistakes crept into their game and ball retention became tricky and they were well punished by the soon to be league leaders who scored a further two and forced further good saves from Marchant. To their credit though Maidstone recovered for the last minutes of the game and were able to pull one back when a lovely passing moving down the right flank ended with a sharp finish from Jeremy Swaffer.