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SEASON 2008/09

SEASON 2008/09

Ryman League - Premier Division
Tuesday 31st March 2009
Maidstone United
Maidstone United
0 - 0
AFC Hornchurch
H/T 0 - 0 Att.: 301

Match Synopsis
Maidstone United
AFC Hornchurch
Booking: Blackman
Booking: Coyne
Sub: Abrahams for Styles
Sub: Elliott for Parkinson
Sub: Wall for Parker
Booking: Purdie

Match Report by Tony Middleton 
Elliot Styles came back after injury and Michael Spencer also returned to the starting line up. Jamie Nelson, who has played in the Capital League side, came in as substitute, along with Mervyn Abrahams, who has previously played for Bishop’s Stortford and Cheshunt. Maidstone still have hopes of a play off place, and they pressed forward at the start. Blackman made a good run down the left side and Darren Behcet did well to fling himself forward and hold the ball as it came low across goal. Darren received a kick in the head as a result of what appeared to be a somewhat late challenge and play was held up for several minutes whilst he received attention. The referee did not even speak to the player concerned.

Hornchurch took time to settle on a hard and bumpy pitch – for the second match in a row, they were playing on a ground which had already had a match the previous day, Sittingbourne having played on Monday – and only one player, Simon Parker, was up front, and it was Simon who won a corner with an enforced solo run, as no one was backing him up. Andy Tomlinson took the corner, on the left, and played the ball short back to Mark Janney. Mark swivelled and shot from the edge of the area, and the ball skimmed the post. Maidstone came back with a free kick which saw three of their giant sized defenders charge up field in readiness, but Saunders sent the ball into the car park. Urchins had a slightly better free kick when Mark Janney sidefooted the ball to Elliot Styles, and Elliot’s shot went wide of the goal. Play began to swing back and forth. A corner by Pinnock was punched away by Behcet. Mark Goodfellow slotted a good pass up to Janney whose run ended when Edge conceded a corner. Tomlinson sent over an inswinger which was backheaded wide of the goal by McFarlane. A move involving Coyne and Parker saw Simon slip a neat pass towards Dean Green only for Hawkins to intercept.

Maidstone were awarded a free kick near the half way line and Saunders sent the ball deep into the area, where Paul, Pinnock and Royson all lined up for shooting chances before John Purdie finally cleared any danger. A Saunders corner was headed back to the taker and his follow up cross earned another corner which Spencer cleared. Hornchurch were at their most dangerous towards the end of the half when Goodfellow sent Parker clear and Simon was pulled down for a free kick, which Tomlinson put into the goalmouth, and keeper Walker just beat Elliot Styles to the ball as it bobbed around. Almost on half time Dean Green went down the left wing and played a high centre over to Styles, who switched play to Parker. His low cross found Mark Janney whose shot was touched around the post. Tomlinson took the corner and Styles headed over as the half time whistle went.

The second half saw Hornchurch again with only one player up front, and with the rest playing very deep t meant that any loose balls were being picked up by home players. A good run by Nugent ended when Spencer tackled to concede a corner. Saunders took the kick, McFarlane cleared, but any counter attack was quickly stopped when Saunders brought down Styles. Tomlinson took the free kick, Parker touched the ball back to Janney, whose shot from the edge of the area went wide of the goal. Billy Coyne made ground on the right side to send Janney away and Mark carried on and his shot appeared to be handled by a defender, before rebounding back to Dean Green who fired wide. A Tomlinson free kick saw Walker save from McFarlane’s header, and at the other end a corner by Saunders came to nothing, whilst McFarlane headed away an Edge free kick. Billy Coyne was then booked for a perfectly timed tackle, and from the incorrectly awarded free kick Saunders hammered the ball hard into the wall of defenders. Mervyn Abrahams came on for Elliot Styles and moved out to the left, with two players now upfront and Dean Green dropping back to inside right. Abrahams was brought into the action right away with a long pass out to the left, and his first time shot was part cleared, as far as Billy Coyne on the right side. Billy ran in towards goal and his goal bound shot hit Simon Parker and the ball went out for a goal kick.

Nugent hammered the ball high over the bar from a Saunders corner, the ball disappearing towards Elmley marshes, and then Maidstone almost scored in totally farcical circumstances. Nugent was at least twenty yards offside when he ran on to a long clearance, but the linesman missed it, and he had a clear forty yard run at goal. Darren Behcet raced out of his area and just managed to kick the ball away to prevent a certain goal.

By now play was swinging from end to end, so much so that when a defender went up to join in the attack and then had to race back, the same defender sometimes passed himself on his way back up the field.

And so it was back down the other end, where Janney played a low ball in towards Abrahams and he hit his shot inches wide of the post. Walker then made an excellent save from a goal bound Tomlinson shot, but could only parry the ball. And Simon Parker followed up, only for Paul to deflect the ball out for a corner. Tomlinson took the kick, Parker played it back to Andy and his first time drive crashed against the underside of the bar. The ball was booted away and with everyone caught up field Nugent raced away. Jim McFarlane sped back, and with Darren Behcet rushing out, they between them just did enough to force Nugent into an early shot which disappeared towards the river Swale. Ross Wall came on for Simon Parker, which possibly confused the home following as the announcer had already told them that Ross was on the pitch when Mervyn came on, and in the fourth minute of the two minutes added on Maidstone were awarded a free kick, which did not go down at all well as the decision should have gone the other way. Steve Elliott had not been on the pitch for long, and was causing quite a few problems, and none more so when he hit the free kick into the packed goalmouth. Blackman went for the ball and missed it, but centre half Peter Hawkins, right in front of goal, did not miss the ball, but fortunately missed his kick and sliced it wide, just as the final whistle went.

Video Clips by Rob Monger

Team Line Ups
Maidstone United
AFC Hornchurch
Andy Walker
Darren Behcet
Nathan Paul
Billy Coyne
Roland Edge
Michael Spencer
James Peacock
John Purdie (c)
Peter Hawkins
Jim McFarlane
Ryan Royson
Andy Tomlinson
Mesach Nugent
Mark Goodfellow
Jay Saunders (c)
Mark Janney
James Pinnock
Dean Green
Lloyd Blackman
Simon Parker
Tom Parkinson
Elliot Styles
Subs.   Subs.
Keelan Mooney
Ross Wall
Ant Bodle
Frankie Curley
Steve Elliott
Donny Barnard
Steve Northwood
Jamie Nelson
Narada Pascal
Mervyn Abrahams

Weather Conditions: 10 Degs. C., Cloudy, Wind Speed = 10 mph
Match Officials: Referee - Mr. M. Yerby, Assistants - Mr. D. Spain and Mr. P. Beadle
Match duration: F/H 46 mins. 12 secs., S/H 48 mins. 51 secs.

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