Hume: We're taking this
Observer League Cup
McCartney reports from
Mo Takaloo 61
|Maidstone United moved a step nearer
to the last eight of the Kentish Observer League Cup with victory over
their west Kent rivals at Culverden Stadium tonight, writes Stephen
Two goals from central defender Ryan Royston - both from set-pieces - and striker Mo Takaloo's 22nd goal of the season, gave the Stones a great chance to qualify with VCD Athletic.
They need just one more win from their last two games, against Deal Town (at Bourne Park, Wednesday 11th January) and at VCD Athletic (at Greenwich Borough's Harrow Meadow ground) ten days later.
But Tunbridge Wells were left ruing missed chances at the start and at the death.
Youth team product Alex Rich saw his snap shot tipped over by Pat Mullin before shooting wide on two other occasions, as did midfielder Ted Ansell, whose on loan from Southern Leaguers Dartford.
The Stones, meanwhile, wasted two free kick's from Takaloo and midfielder Sam Tydeman, their skipper.
But they were unlucky not to take a 27th minute lead when Tydeman released Simon Austin down the right and his cross was met by Nick Hegley. With his back to goal he turned and his shot agonisingly clipped the right upright, which left Mikael Czanner - making his first start for the first team, despite playing for Tonbridge Angels and Hastings United during the course of the season, rooted to the spot.
Maidstone, however, opened the scoring within 63 seconds of the second half when Royston fired a low shot to Czanner's left following Austin's free kick from the left hand side.
And after Bradley Mortimer and leading scorer with six goals, Dave Hassett failed to score for the home side, Maidstone doubled their lead after 61 minutes.
All credit must fall to former Beckenham Town star Nathan Paul, as it was his penetrating run that gave Takaloo his chance, and the former Ramsgate striker found the net inside the near post, aided by a deflection.
The introduction of right-sided midfielder Steve Ward sparked impetus into the home side with his penetrating runs.
But it could be the last time the Culverden faithful see the former Ashford Town teenager in action.
Dropped to the substitutes bench, he arrived at the ground at half past seven due to train delays in the New Cross area, coming home from work in Central London.
Steve, and his older brother Mike, are expected to move closer to their Ashford home, to Tunbridge Wells' Kent League rivals Hythe Town.
Steve Ward and Dave Hassett both had chances to bring their side back into the game in a good spell late on but the Stones wrapped up the victory in the final minute when the impressive Royston scored his sixth goal of the season, planting a header into the corner of the net, despite Wells' skipper Jason Bourne's sliding efforts to clear the ball off the line, following Austin's far post corner.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Maidstone United manager Lloyd Hume was pleased with the performance of his players, especially youngsters Nick Blade, Andy Hart and substitutes Nick King and Charlie Plummer.
"Yes, I'm pleased with the victory but more importantly I'm pleased with the performance," he said.
"We put a couple of youngsters in tonight and I think all three of them done very, very well and done themselves a lot of justice.
"The manner of the win was what pleased me more than the actual win itself."
Hume admitted he is taking this competition seriously, having collected seven points from their first four group games.
"I've said all along, no matter what team we put out we look to win every game we play in," he said.
"It will be very nice to win the League Cup. (Although) it's not our priority it's something we take seriously.
"Winning's a good habit, losing's a bad habit and they come very easily on both ways.
"So it was important tonight we got a win and we are taking the competition seriously."
Martin Farnie, in charge of his 11th game at Tunbridge Wells, admitted he was disappointed with the defeat and that his players missed several good chances.
"We've let in three sloppy goals from a defensive point of view," he fumed. "We created five gilt edged chances in the last twenty minutes and didn't take any of them. (We) got punished because we haven't taken our chances.
"Poor defending on the two goals but you can't create chances like that and not score and expect to win football games. We were missing chances from two-yards out.
"I felt it was fairly even to be honest but they took their chances and we didn't. It's as simple as that really.
"A bit disappointed with some of my players. Disappointed we've lost 3-0, where we deserved something out of the game really."
Farnie, however, admitted it will be hard for his side to reach the quarter-finals.
"It makes it hard for us now in this competition to quality now," he admitted. "We've got to beat VCD and Deal and hope Maidstone can beat whoever they've got left.
"They've got to beat VCD and we've got to beat VCD to go through. We've made it difficult for ourselves now.
"I am pleased with the way we've worked hard and we had a lot of endeavor.
"I felt we were in the game for long periods tonight but it's just our finishing. We've had five chances in the six-yard box and haven't scored a goal!"
When asked about rumours circulating around Culverden Stadium concerning the Ward brothers, Farnie replied: "Is there? Not as far as I know. That's the first time I've heard that (they were leaving to join Hythe Town)"
But he added: "If they want to go to Hythe it's down to them, isn't it?
"I don't know what the situation is. I have to find out what the situation (is).
"The young one (Steve) didn't start tonight because he didn't turn up until half past seven. He was working in Central London and got caught on a train.
"I have to have my team sheet in by seven o'clock so I made a decision to put him on the bench tonight.
"And to be fair to him when he came on he did really well, created chances and looked lively.
"If they want to go (to Hythe) they want to go don't they? I can't do nothing about that.
"Like everyone, they all think they should be in the squad but I'm a bit disappointed, not with the Ward brothers, but disappointed that I've only been here eleven games and people are starting to leave because they're not in the side. Tough isn't it!
"I don't know if they're going or not. I've got to go and speak to them and see what is with them. If they want to go, we'll have to see."
|Tunbridge Wells: Mikael
Czanner, Jason Bourne (Capt), Ben Hilden, Adrian Hatcher, Bradley
Mortimer, Andy Garrett (Abdul El-Ferdi 84), Andy Rich (Sebastian Okrzeja
70), Ted Answell, Dave Hassett, Joe Fuller, John Sinclair (Steve Ward
60). Subs: Mike Ward, John Whitehouse (GK)
Maidstone United: Pat Mullin, Aaron Lacy (Nick King 68), Nick Blade, Nathan Paul, Gary Hemens, Ryan Royston, Andy Hart (Charlie Plummer 67), Sam Tydeman (Capt), Mo Takaloo (Mario Celaire 63), Simon Austin, Nick Hegley. Sub: Jason Barton
Referee: Mr Simon Finnigan
Assistants: Mr Mark Higgins and Mr Paul Beadle