Eagled eyed Mullin puts Chelmsford on the spot - FA Trophy news

Monday 23rd October 2006

It was an eventful weekend of FA Trophy football with some great performances and a couple of blunders that created the headlines, writes Stephen McCartney.

Maidstone United pulled off one the shocks of the first qualifying round as a late dramatic goal from Lynden Rowland and a late penalty miss saw them beat ambitious Chelmsford City at Melbourne Park.

Few would have thought that The Stones would have pulled off one of their greatest results since reforming.

Chelmsford City were packed full of players with Nationwide Conference experience but Maidstone’s hard work and endeavour saw them deservedly through to the second qualifying round.

Even joint-manager Alan Walker hadn’t harboured great hopes of a famous win prior to the game.
He told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk : “We had Scruffy go to Chelmsford and his report was to get the tin hats on, we are going to get absolutely hammered!
“What you have to look at though is the chances created and to be fair I thought that Chelmsford created very little.
“I think we are quite lucky that we got them on a day where they didn’t perform but having said that we did and I am delighted with, and very proud of, every single one of our players.”
Just five minutes had gone when the home side took the lead after The Stones allowed Chris Duffy to thread the ball into Ricky Holmes who placed his shot past Pat Mullin into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
But the expected onslaught from City never materialised and slowly Maidstone began to enjoy a significant amount of possession.
With 31 minutes gone The Stones had a glorious chance to equalise when Jason Barton’s throw was flicked into the middle by Ryan Royston towards Lynden Rowland and Rowland showed great awareness to cushion his header back to substitute Nick Barnes who unfortunately snatched at the volley and sent the ball over the bar.
However, an equaliser was forthcoming and on 39 minutes Craig Roser saw his fierce drive deflected for a corner. Simon Austin’s corner from the left hand side reached Royston lurking at the back post and he headed the ball back across the six-yard box for Rowland to bury his header past Richard McKinney in the City goal.

Most present in the ground at half time probably expected City to emerge from the break a transformed side but they couldn’t seem to raise their game and it wasn’t until the 67th minute that Chelmsford threatened Mullin’s goal.

First of all Sam Tydeman came close to accidentally converting Jay Conroy’s ball into the box and then from the corner, Mullin had to be alert to tip Stuart Ainsley’s cross over the bar.

Finally, just a minute later, substitute Jason Hallett thought he had scored with a header but his effort was ruled out for a foul in the box.

Then 12 minutes from time, Maidstone created a great chance to edge in front. Nick Barnes’ low free-kick from 35 yards was diverted by Lee Shearer into the path of Rowland who in space close to the penalty spot but he could not connect cleanly with the ball and his effort looped narrowly over the bar.
The longer the game went on, the more the belief that The Stones could hold on for a replay grew but the result was about to get even better for the Maidstone fans.
With just a minute of normal time remaining Rowland magnificently won the ball on the half way line with a header and out-muscled Steve Ward to break into the penalty area.
Then just as it appeared Ward was about to make a challenge, Rowland powdered a wonderful rising shot which sailed past McKinney high into the back of the net to make The Stones fans delirious.
But the game wasn’t finished yet and the travelling support were sent crashing back down to earth with two minutes of stoppage time played when the referee, Mr Child, awarded City a penalty.
The penalty spot had been repainted prior to kick off when Mullin had discovered that the area and spot had been incorrectly marked out a yard or so too close to the goal which apparently had been the case for quite some time.
Perhaps having the penalty spot moved back away from goal made a difference for Jeff Minton, who appeared in the FA Trophy final for Canvey Island in 2004, planted his spot kick into the advertising hoardings next to Mullin’s goal.
After another agonising minute of so of injury time, the referee finally brought the game to a close much to the delight of the vocal Maidstone supporters.

Speaking about the penalty spot blunder, which caused the kick-off to be delayed by 15 minutes, Mullin told www.timesonline.co.uk.

“You could see it straightaway and I’m surprised no one had said anything before.

“The penalty spot should be 12 yards away — it looked about nine. They pushed it back. Thank God I spotted it because the penalty he shanked might have gone in.”

Striker Brendon Cass, who went nine games without scoring, scored four times as Dartford thumped Horsham YMCA 6-0 at Ship Lane on Sunday.

The former Tonbridge Angels and Chatham Town striker last scored for the Darts when he bagged a brace during their 5-0 FA Cup preliminary round tie at Tunbridge Wells at the beginning of September.

Right-winger Ryan Hayes netted a brace and Darts will be hoping for the same performance when the west Sussex side open Princes Park on 11th November.

Jon Main took his tally up to fourteen for the season, scoring all Tonbridge Angels’ goals in their 3-1 win over unbeaten Ryman League Division One North leaders Harlow Town.

Gareth Williams also netted a hat-trick as Ryman Premier League leaders Bromley defeated East Thurrock United 6-3 at Hayes Lane.

Nick McDonnell, Peter Adeniyi and Kirk Watts were also on the scoresheet, although former Ashford Town striker Adrian Stone suffered a double fracture of his ankle during the first half.

hit-man Danny Hockton took his tally up to 13 for the season, with a brace in their 3-1 win at Wivenhoe Town, with Steve McKimm getting the other.

Margate gave Thanet based reserve team player Dan Dolton his debut.

Captain Adam Flanagan was again Folkestone Invicta’s hero as his 42nd minute header gave Neil Cugley’s side victory at fellow Ryman Premier League side Staines Town at Wheatsheaf Park.

The centre half again demonstrated his power at both ends of the pitch by meeting Kevin Watson’s free kick from the right hand side and headed the ball back across goal and into the net.

Flanagan, 29, had also scored the only goal of the game during Invicta’s midweek home win over Hendon and has now scored five goals so far this season.

With left-back Steve Norman (shin) passed fit, the Folkestone side had an unchanged starting eleven for the seventh successive match and their only defeat in their last eight outings had been their FA Cup replay at Welling United.

Following Hendon’s 2-1 home defeat to Ramsgate, their first team manager Gary McCann, offered to resign.

A statement issued by the north London club said: “A long meeting with Hendon FC officials followed and Mr McCann was asked to reconsider his position.

“It was agreed that Mr McCann would take two weeks’ leave of absence from Hendon Football Club to reconsider his position and he will make a final decision at the end of that period.

“In the interim, Mr McCann’s assistant, Freddie Hyatt, has been appointed caretaker manager.”

Shaun Welford and Andy Hadden gave Jim Ward’s Rams a 2-0 lead before Hendon netted a late penalty.

travel to Arlesey Town on Tuesday night, after playing out a goal-less draw at Bourne Park.

Cray Wanderers, however, progressed after scoring the only goal of the game at Cheshunt but  Dover Athletic are the only Kent side to fall at this hurdle, as a Craig Wilkins’ goal was not enough as they crashed out, losing 3-1 at Maidenhead United.


www.kentishfootball.co.uk contacted the Football Association this lunchtime after spotting two blunders with today’s FA Trophy second qualifying round draw.

Cray Wanderers, 1-0 winners at Cheshunt, were initially not included in the draw and Dartford were handed two games at the same time!

(25)  Dartford  v  Evesham United

(35) Waltham Forest  v  Dartford/Evesham United

However, the Football Association later amended the draw and Cray Wanderers will be the ones that travel to Waltham Forest.

Evesham United are the visitors to Thurrock United’s Ship Lane ground as Dartford play their last two games of their 14-year exile.

Tooting & Mitcham United have a great incentive to beat Boreham Wood tonight because they will welcome Bromley to Imperial Fields in the next round.

Former Bromley managers Billy Smith and George Wakeling are in charge of the Surrey club.

If Sittingbourne win Tuesday night’s replay up at Arlesey Town, Steve Lovell’s side will welcome Bath City to Bourne Park.

On-form Folkestone Invicta  welcome Billericay Town or Aylesbury United to the Buzzlines Stadium.

Margate travel to either Tiverton Town or Gloucester City.

Ramsgate are on the road again, and will travel to either AFC Sudbury or Kingstonian.

Tonbridge Angels travel to their Ryman Premier League rivals AFC Wimbledon as Tony Dolby's side play eight mouth-watering games in a month.

Maidstone United’s reward for knocking out Chelmsford City is a home tie with the side that ended their FA Cup hopes, Ashford Town (Middlesex).

Joint-boss Alan Walker told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk  that his side are looking for revenge for the Sunday 5th November clash at Bourne Park.

He said: "The players will certainly want to put right a wrong, they knew they let themselves down last time we played them and they'll also be a lot more confident following our recent performances, not least the result on Saturday.

“I think this gives us a very good chance of making further progress in the competition, we have a home draw and we know that we are a better side than the last time we played them.

“A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then with changes both to personnel and the attitude of the players as well.

“We may also find a situation similar to Chelmsford where Ashford come into the game too confident and I know that my players will have a passion and a hunger to make up for the FA Cup defeat.”

Second qualifying round ties to be played on Saturday 4th November 2006.  However, Maidstone United's game will be played on Sunday, 5th.