Maidstone Mens 2s
|Date||Saturday 27th October|
The Mens 2s recorded their first points of the season, with a hard-fought victory over local rivals Marden Russets.
The day has started in a similar fashion to the previous week, as we faced the prospect of starting with a bare 11. Tim Chapman (once again blaming his girlfriend), technically arrived on time at 12:30. However, he soon realised he had no kit so had to dash home, and then run back up the hill for the push back. With 15 minutes until the start, we were now up to a full strength 12, with Warren, Tom, Dan and Rob returning to the squad.
The first half finished 0-0, which was an accurate reflection of the pace of the game. Good build up play from the midfield, and a well managed press perhaps gave the half to Maidstone, however neither side could force any real threats upon goal and the general feeling was that the deadlock would need to be broken by a defensive error by either team. Marden did win a handful of penalty corners, however these were lacklustre and dealt with accordingly by Mike Smith and Neil Dibben.
The second half brought out the best in Maidstone, as they started to weave together some genuine attacking opportunities and pushed the Russets deep into their own half. Any attempts at a counter attack by the opposition were managed very well by Matt Emery, whilst Dan dealt with the constant threat from their right-wing with maturity. Man-of-match Neil Dibben was a big presence in the centre of midfield and helped Maidstone push forward. Despite the pressure, and circle penetrations, the home team were unable to convert this into goals. Several dangerous crosses were met only with thin air, and no player was able to test the keeper with a shot in anger. In the dying seconds, Captain Chilli took responsibility with a cool pick-up and piece of individual skill, followed up by a spicy finish as the ball ricocheted off a defender (or two) and found its way past the out-of-position Russet keeper. With only 5 seconds remaining, Maidstone were reminded why it is important to give 100% right until the final whistle, and were duly rewarded.
Some say the victory could be put down to the return of the four beers for £5 at the club bar… We will find out if this is true next week as Les Hommes des Deux travel up the hill to Holcombe.