Thursday 01st September 2005


Saturday 19th
March 2005
Go Travel Kent League
Premier Division
Julian Leigh reports from Greatness Park
Sevenoaks Town 2 Walters 18, 44
Maidstone United 4 Austin 15
Barton 48
Strouts 49,59

Sevenoaks don't keep to their standards

IN FRONT of their biggest crowd of the season - 248 - Sevenoaks Town will feel disappointed having lost a 2-1 half-time lead, and ending up on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline against a good Maidstone United side.

Both sides started tentatively on a bouncy pitch as both sides tried to stamp their authority on the game.

However, it was Maidstone who made the breakthrough on 15 minutes.  A long diagonal pass found Jimmy Strouts who outpaced Miles and his crossed the ball into the six yard box and Simon Austin side footed past goalkeeper Darren Smart.

Their joy was short lived as within three minutes Sevenoaks were level. A corner kick from Cramp was headed home by Dave Waters past the stranded, former Sittingbourne and Dover Athletic goalkeeper Pat Mullins.

Both sides continued to probe for openings with Maidstone's main threat coming from the long throw of defender Aaron Lacey.

When they did find an opening the visitors found Smart in good form as the goalkeeper had to be alert to save a shot from Barton down at his near post.

With a minute remaining before the interval, Waters scored his second goal.  Again a ball played into the area was headed powerfully goalwards by the midfielder and the ball eluded Mullins and defender Harvey as it bounced high into the net.

Within four minutes of the restart the visitors had edged into the lead and one that they never looked like surrendering.

The equlaiser coming from the head of Jason Barton following a corner kick taken by Lacey.  Baron rose unchallenged at the far post to head home from close range.

The Stones' third goal came a minute later as a result of a through ball that should have been dealt with by Smart or Morrish but as both Sevenoaks players went in for the ball with Strouts the ball came back of the goalkeeper for Strouts to fire into an empty net.

From that moment on Maidstone controlled the game with their goalkeeper almost a spectator as Holder and player-manager Lloyd Hume containing the threat of Sevenoaks' strikers Powell and Doran.

Strouts added the fourth on 59 minutes to seal the victory and Smart had to make a brilliant reaction save from Barton to make the scoreline respectable.

Sevenoaks' joint-manager Julian Leigh was impressed with the travelling support.

"It was tremendous to play in front of a big crowd," he said.  "The biggest crowd in the league today, which was also bigger than a majority of games played in the Ryman League first division and Southern League, which just shows what a great fan base Maidstone have, and one that deserves to move up the pyramid system."

Reflecting about the defeat, he added: "We gave away sloppy goals against a good side.  The two just after the second half were unacceptable given the standards we have now set ourselves."

Sevenoaks Town: Smart, Cramp, Morrish, Nichol, Gibson, Forster, Waters (G Parrish), Young, Miles (Balmer), Powell, Doran (Hart).  Subs: Percy, M Parrish