Maidstone Mens 1s
|Date||Saturday 13th October|
|Scorers||Phil Morrison, Iain Brain|
Maidstone travelled down the road to local rivals Sutton Valence for what was an early top of the table clash. It was the away team that prevailed with a very accomplished performance - absolutely playing Valence off the pitch.
Maidstone started brightly and showed good composure as they held the ball well and in patches passed it round without so much as an away getting near the ball. In contrast Valence seemed intent on trying to force their attacks and their one dimensional play was easily dealt with by the Maidstone defence. With man of the match Jon Cooper working hard in the midfield and distributing the ball nicely Maidstone were always the more threatening in attack and half way through the first half they took a deserved lead as Phil Morrison deftly picked the ball up in the D on his reverse and then slotted it home past the stranded Valence keeper. The home side's only answer to this devastating finish was to continue with their predictable but limited attacking options. Their only threat looked to come from the two short corners they won in the first half but a combination of poorly executed routines and good defending meant Maidstone easily expelled these. Maidstone went into the half time break 1-0 up but with Jeremy Swaffer having hit the post and a couple more chances going narrowly wide Maidstone were unlucky not to be ahead by more.
Maidstone were equally good in the second half, working hard and maintaining their structure throughout. This made it vary hard for Valence to break them down and as such they continued to struggle to manufacture any chances from open play. Despite this they were awarded a few dubious short corners but again their uninspiring routines combined with a rock steady Darren Marchant in the Maidstone goal meant that they failed to score. After soaking up the pressure Maidstone increasingly hit Valence on the break and with 15 minutes left Maidstone were awarded their first short corner of the match. Up stepped short corner specialist Iain Brine who duly dispatched a trade mark drag flick. At 2-0 up Maidstone were cruising and could have made it 3 but after another lightening break Morrison's effort hit the bar and rebounded back out to safety. Despite going down to 10 men Maidstone held firm and with less than 30 seconds on the clock Valence snuck a single goal but it was far too little too late and Maidstone easily saw out the remaining time to record a 3rd win from 3 league matches.