Stones closing in on top spot
|Kentish Observer League||Darrell
Harman reports from
North Dane Way
Nathan Paul 85
|Maidstone United moved one point from
top spot after dominating their game at Lordswood, which was watched by
their record crowd for a league game of 422, writes Darrell Harman.
The game started off well for promotion seeking Stones as in the 8th minute Aaron Lacy's long throw into the penalty area reached Mo Takaloo who turned quickly and shot into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
But the Lords almost equalised when the Maidstone defence hacked the ball clear but only to Andy Skinner, who from 45-yards out on the right, volleyed back towards goal. Goalkeeper Pat Mullin back tracked, hitting the post himself and was relieved to see the ball just evade the upright.
A rare mistake by Lordswood defender Ashley Russell saw Takaloo run through but the former Ramsgate striker shot wide, and former Beckenham Town player Mario Celaire rose to meet a corner, but his header went wide, and Sam Tydeman's free kick was headed off the line by Alan Backshell.
Lordswood goalkeeper Gavin Hopper, awarded the man of the match award, came to the rescue when he denied Takaloo. The former Chatham Town stopper excelled and kept the score down, pushing Simon Austin's shot around the post and then using his legs to deny the same player.
Just past the hour park, Andy Doerr charged down Pullin's clearance, which went straight to Backshell who coolly lobbed the ball goalwards only to see the goalkeeper race back and acrobatically tip the ball over.
When the corner came over Mullin caught it, kicked the ball forward for Takaloo to chase and the prolific striker slid the ball past Hopper and into the net.
In the 64th minute the game was over as Nick Hegley's cross from the by-line was turned in by Takaloo to score his hat-trick.
And in the 75th minute, Takalooo slotted home from 18-yards to score his, and the Stones fourth goal.
Lordswood, in trying to score a consolation, left big gaps at the back and Lyndon Rowland's 18-yard shot was parried by Hopper and Nathan Paul stabbed home to make it a five-star showing from Maidstone United.
|Lordswood: Hopper, Skinner,
Russell, Crust (Phillips 67), Hetterley, Forster, Read (Burrett 52),
Sharp, Doerr, Broad (Hayfield 76), Backshell. Subs: Difede, Cormack