Maidstone Men's 1s
Tunbridge Wells 1 (f - tonbridge school)
|Date||Saturday 24th September|
|Scorers||Tim Chapman (2), Jeremy Swaffer, Chris Brinn, Ricardo Escribano|
Win in the Sun
Saturday 24th September saw Maidstone 1st XI take on a very strong Tunbridge Wells side in their final friendly fixture prior to the Southern Premier 2 league kicking off.
Maidstone, started slowly and allowed Tunbridge Wells to enjoy some early possession in the Maidstone half. However, confident in their new structure and style of play Maidstone were content to withstand the pressure and attack on the break. Despite their territorial advantage Tunbridge Wells failed to penetrate the Maidstone D and their frustration showed. This was compounded after 20 minutes when Maidstone executed a fast counter attack, Tim Chapman finishing the move from a Joe Martin pass. Maidstone started to enjoy more of the game and suddenly looked much more threatening. Though they enjoyed more attacking possession and won a couple of short corners it was another swift full pitch counter attack that created the second goal. This time Jeremy Swaffer tapping in from another Martin cross. Tunbridge Wells ended the half with their best spell of the game but were denied a goal by some stout defending and a superb goal line clearance from Phil Morrison. Maidstone went into the half time break 2-0 up.
The second half was always going to be a lot more open as the midday heat started to take its toll on the players. As both teams continued to work hard several chances went begging at either end, Maidstone for once lacking the final ball and Tunbridge Wells unlucky to be denied from several short corners by in-form keeper Darren Marchant. It was though Tunbridge Wells who finally broke the second half deadlock as their right winger exhibited some fine skill to cut into the Maidstone D and set up his team mate who made it 2-1. The game suddenly looked anything but finished as Tunbridge Wells pressed for the equaliser. However it was Maidstone who showed more maturity and composure to keep their structure and temperament and were able to take advantage. James Christmas nicked the ball in the middle of the pitch and somehow squeezed a ball through to Tim Chapman in the D who cooly rounded the keeper and held his nerve to slot home. Sensing victory Maidstone kept up the pressure enjoying more and more ball though the middle of the pitch. Good work from Ricard Escribano, who had tormented the Tunbridge Wells defence all game, resulted in a well directed ball into the D from Will Hutchins which was smartly finished by Chris Brinn for his first open play goal in 3 years. Tunbridge Wells tried to claw a goal back but were denied by more fine saves from Marchant and another goal line clearance from Skipper Nicholas Leatherbarrow. Maidstone were able to kill the game off as Escribano signed off in style with a thundering reverse stick strike coming from a perfectly executed Iain Brine aerial ball.
Maidstone go into their first league match on 1st October, 13:45 at Armstrong Road on a real high and full of confidence.