Maidstone United Match Report

Wednesday 14 September 2011.                                             Ryman League, Division One South.

Maidstone United 2    Walton & Hersham 0.

Swans put on a fine display at Sittingbourne, much improved on the performance of four days earlier, and they certainly deserved at least a draw from a tough fixture. But once again events seemed to conspire against them and they did not get the result their play warranted.

Already without Shaun Elliott and Richard Taylor, they lost Ryan Adams after just 17 minutes and their other full-back Ashlee Quashie early in the second-half. By the time Quashie went off Swans had already had their most influential defender Jon Munday sent-off straight after half-time, and they had to play almost all the second-half with ten men. The changes resulted in striker Graeme Purdy filling an unaccustomed role in defence for much of the second-half.

Despite their handicaps Swans continued to match the home side, and after finally falling behind with a quarter of an hour left, should have equalised in the final minute, but substitute Sean Bradley’s shot was blocked on the goal-line. Maidstone scored their second goal with a superbly struck free-kick three minutes into stoppage-time.

Swans introduced midfielder Bradley Quamina, signed on dual-registration from Maidenhead United, and first starts were given to both Harry Smart and young Fulham loanee Jonathan Cosgrove.

Swans created an early opening when Munday played a fine ball to Phil Williams on the right, and he made a good run into the box to win a corner. From Smart’s right-side kick Purdy was found on the edge of the box, and he got in a shot that was taken just under his crossbar by home goalkeeper Charlie Mitten.

The home side quickly created a chance when a free-kick taken from the right eluded Munday and Ellis Green got through, but Swans’ keeper Gareth Williams blocked by his left-post.

Phil Williams again forced a corner with another run into the right of the box after being set up by Purdy.

Adams could not continue after picking up an early injury and was replaced by Josh Webb, and Maidstonesoon capitalised by winning a corner on the left. Swans were fortunate when Green’s kick went across the six-yard box and the ball struck the far-post.

Cosgrove was found on the right by Munday, and he sent in a high cross to the far-post for Phil Williams to loop a header over.

Green was proving lively for Maidstone, and when he was played into the right of the box he was pressurised into shooting wide of the near-post.

Swans continued to play well, and a good build-up on the right enabled Webb to get the ball over, but Purdy just failed to get his head to the ball. Cosgrove was then just denied from getting on the end of a low cross from Smart, who had been found inside the right of the box by Quamina’s knock forward. Another neat build-up resulted in Webb crossing from the right for Munday to volley just wide of the post.

Gareth Williams did well straight after the resumption to stretch and deflect the ball wide of his far-post afterMaidstone’s Nick Reeves had broken down the left to get in a dangerous, high cross. But with just three minutes played of the second-half a ball over the top left Munday trying to prevent Shaun Welford breaking clear, and the Swans’ defender was sent-off for pulling back the home striker on the edge of the box. Green drove the resultant free-kick just over.

Cosgrove sent a volley over after the ball had come out to him following Smart’s cross from the left, but with fewer than ten minutes of the second-half played Quashie could not continue after he had picked up an injury just before the break. Glenn Stanley came on and Purdy dropped back into defence.

Swans continued to make light of their handicaps and Smart put a far-post header over when Webb sent over a free-kick from the left.

Midway through the half the home side began to have a good spell, and Green cut inside from the left 25 yards out to strike a fine effort just wide of the left-post. Sam Beswick then sent in clever lob from fully forty yards out, and Gareth Williams just got back to tip the ball over. But after 73 minutes Swans’ resistance finally broke when the home side took the lead. The ball ricocheted around the edge of Swans’ box before fortuitously running through to Welford, who poked it past Williams.

With ten minutes remaining home substitute Baff Addae burst clear down the left, but some terrific tracking back by Victor Kiri enabled Williams to come out and collect.

As the match entered the last five minutes Maidstone’s Green drove just over the far, top corner from the left, but Swans still looked capable of getting an equaliser, and in the final minute of normal time they went desperately close to doing so. Purdy had gone back up front, and he played Phil Williams into the left of the box for a typical run. Williams got the ball over to pick out Bradley unmarked at the far-post, but although his volley was not struck cleanly it looked like going in until striking a defender on the goal-line.

With three minutes of stoppage-time played Maidstone won a fortunate free-kick on the edge of the box, and Gareth Williams was given no chance as Alex Flisher struck a terrific shot into the top, left corner, with what proved to be the final kick of the match.

Swans’ Team: Gareth Williams, Ryan Adams (Josh Webb 17’), Ashlee Quashie (Glenn Stanley 54’), Victor Kiri, Jon Munday, Dan Sintim, Bradley Quamina, Harry Smart, Graeme Purdy, Jonathan Cosgrove (Sean Bradley 75’), Phil Williams. Subs. not used: Gary Frewen, Sheikh Ceesay. Caution: Webb, foul (80’). Dismissal: Munday, denying goal-scoring opportunity (48’).

Maidstone Team: Mitten, Osborne, Mills, Reeves, Andrews, Lye, Green, Beswick, Welford, Humphris (Addae 45’), Flisher. Subs. not used: Pinnock, Abraham. Waugh, Gill. Scorers: Welford (73’), Flisher (90+3’). Caution: Flisher, foul (28’).