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SEASON 2007/08

Ryman League - Premier Division
Wednesday 28th November 2007
AFC Wimbledon
Maidstone United
0 - 2
AFC Hornchurch
H/T 0 - 0 Att.: 238
Parker 66, Green (pen) 71

Match Synopsis
Maidstone United
AFC Hornchurch
Sub: Maxton for Tak'hashi
Sub: Freeman for Higley
Sub: Parker for Lee
Booking: Martin
Goal: Simon Parker
Goal: Dean Green
Sub: Bodle for McNish
Booking: Ahwan
Sub: Tomlinson for Green
Sub: Foyewa for Elmes

Match Report by Tony Middleton 

Wednesday 28th November 2007


MU – Pat Mullin – Nathan Paul – Craig Roser – James Peacock – Mario McNish – Errison Ahwan – Sam Tydeman © - Aaron Lacy – Mo Takalobighashi – Andy Martin – Nick Higley
Subs – Lee Shearer – Ray Freeman for Higley 58 – Jim Bodle for McNish 75 – Jamie Maxton for Takalobighashi 55

HFC – Dale Brightley – Jordan Bostock – Elliot Styles – John Purdie © - Richard Goddard – Frankie Curley – Dean Green – Des Boateng – Kris Lee – Harry Elmes – Steve Wales
Subs – Mark Janney – Simon Parker for Lee 62 – Andy Tomlinson for Green 85 – Richard Halle – Amos Foyewa for Elmes 85

Scorers – Simon Parker 66 – Dean Green 71p
Bookings – Andy Martin 63 (M) – Ahwan 79 (M)
Weather – 9 degrees, drizzle – wind speed 20 mph
Officials J McCann with M Ford and S Earl
Duration 46.03 + 49.53
Attendance 238


Debuts for Dean Green and Des Boateng, and a late change to the starting line up when Elliot Styles came in for Andy Tomlinson, who was held up en route. Danny Glozier, out for four matches, thanks to his totally unjustified sending off at Tilbury. Twelve mile traffic jam on the M25, and a road closure on the approach road to the ground. Many of the away following wondered if the match was on, when they found the massive stadium in darkness. But follow the cart track alongside, down a steep dip, and there, tucked away in the far corner, right at the rear of the large car park, is the Maidstone ground, surely the most basic in the entire league. Surrounded by building works, piles of bricks, and industrial wasteland. The refreshment bar is one of the best in the league – it is also one of the slowest – get there half an hour before kick off if you want to be served by kick off time. Floodlights very poor, casting shadows over the bumpy rain sodden surface.

Urchins totally dominated, start to finish, and began powerfully, sweeping downfield from the start, and winning a corner in the first few seconds. Wales floated the ball over, Dean Green’s first time volley being fumbled by Mullin and scrambled away. Back came the Urchins, Green hit in a shot from just outside the area, and again Mullin fumbled, with Lee just failing to get to the loose ball. Green again, with a shot which cannoned back off Peacock, to Curley, who hit a first time drive over the bar. Lee to Green, and another hard shot, which Mullin tipped out for a corner, taken by Wales, to Boateng, whose shot went narrowly wide.

Total dominance, until Ahwan managed to break out of defence and play a long ball out to Higley on the left, and a dangerous move was ended with a timely tackle from Bostock, the ball sailing over the low surrounding wall and far into the night. Back came Hornchurch, Lee laying off the ball to Green, who brought a good save out of Mullin. Wales won the ball in midfield, and made a long penetrating run, sending a through pass to Lee, with Paul covering to concede a corner. Wales sent the ball over, and a spectacular overhead kick by Lee went just over the bar. Paul eased the pressure with a pass up to Takalobighashi, who found Tydeman with a well placed flick on, and his shot was well saved by Brightley. Another Wales corner came to nothing, when McNish headed away. A Green run saw the ball played in to Wales, and Mullin again saved. Styles then headed powerfully to Elmes, who played the ball forward to Wales, with Mullin again saving. Styles to Elmes a minute later and on to Wales with Mullin rushing out to save at his feet.

Plenty to talk about at half time, as the stewards were sent out to locate the seven missing balls, all of which were booted into the darkness, and were last seen heading towards Elmley Marshes. Main topic however was the consistency of the match officials, who consistently awarded free kicks the wrong way, throws the wrong way – but they occasionally got a decision correct as well. On one occasion Steve Wales was pulled back for offside when streaking clear from a Bostock pass – nothing wrong with the decision, except that he was in his own half of the pitch. And a real surprise – Sir Gary did not win the raffle for once, possibly because they did not have one.

Second half and once again all one way, as Maidstone were forced to repel attack after attack. Green played an excellent pass through to Boateng, who found Steve Wales, whose shot was deflected for a corner. Wales took the corner and the ball was scrambled out and back to Wales, whose cross was headed out for another corner by Ahwan. Wales floated the ball over again, Mullin punched away, Green played it straight back, to Wales, whose centre was headed away by McNish. Mullin then saved well from Boateng. Maidstone broke away and won a corner which was taken by Higley and headed away by Goddard, up to Lee, who raced away and was tackled by Peacock, to give away a corner. Wales took the kick, the ball was headed away by McNish, and back to Elmes, who played the ball back into the middle, where McNish again headed away.

Maidstone won another corner, this time taken by Lacy, and Purdie cleared. A free kick and Goddard came up to direct his header inches wide of the post. A Boateng shot was fumbled by Mullin, the ball skidding out for a corner. Wales took the kick and the ball was cleared, but back it came to SIMON PARKER, just on as substitute for Kris Lee, and he ran on to hammer the ball hard and low into the net, to the obvious delight of the 80 Urchins supporters in the crowd, officially announced as 238 – it looked a lot more than that..

Andy Martin was then booked for an innocuous tackle – yes, it is the ex-Hornchurch player, with a vastly different haircut – and it was now like the siege of the Alamo, with only the impressive McNish standing between the Stones and a massacre. But a goal just had to come, and it came when Harry Elmes was scythed down as he went through, and up stepped DEAN GREEN to slot the penalty neatly home. That was it, as far as Stones were concerned. McNish was limping right from the start, but was in complete command in the middle, and it was no surprise when he limped off to a standing ovation from the Urchins following.

Urchins eased off the pressure and allowed the home side to get back into the game. They never looked like scoring, but did manage to send a few more balls into oblivion. Freeman had come on as substitute and had made an immediate impression, and it was his run on the left which created Maidstone’s first real chance of the second half – in fact only their second of the entire match – but Purdie came across to tackle and concede a corner. Freeman again, winning another corner, which Lacy took and Peacock headed over, and finally, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Freeman had two crosses in succession headed away by Goddard. Three points, and arguably the most impressive performance of the season.

Video Clips by Rob Monger

Team Line Ups
Maidstone United
AFC Hornchurch
Pat Mullin
Dale Brightly
Nathan Paul
Jordan Bostock
Craig Roser
Elliot Styles
James Peacock
John Purdie (c)
Mario McNish
Richard Goddard
Errison Ahwan
Frankie Curley
Sam Tydeman (c)
Dean Green
Aaron Lacey
Des Boateng
Mo Takalobighashi
Kris Lee
Andy Martin
Harry Elmes
Nick Higley
Steve Wales
Subs.   Subs.
Lee Shearer
Mark Janney
Ray Freeman
Simon Parker
Jim Bodle
Andy Tomlinson
Jamie Maxton
Richard Halle
Amos Foyewa

Weather Conditions: 9 Degs. C., Drizzle, Wind Speed = 20 mph
Match Officials: Referee - Mr. J. McCann, Assistants - Mr. M. Ford and Mr. S. Earl
Match duration: F/H 46 mins. 03 secs., S/H 49 mins. 53 secs.

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