Vanarama National League South
Concord Rangers 0
Maidstone United 1
Maidstone United snatch a fortuitous three points away from a sunny Aspect Arena in a dull and close encounter between two sides, with the only shot on target proving the difference.
Concord started sharply and almost scored with a move from kick off, the ball falling kindly for Shaun Okojie who nodded a looping header which nipped the top of the crossbar.
The Stones didn’t take long to feel their way into the game and were knocking on the door and got an answer as they took the lead. A loose pass from James Blanchfield set up a neat counter attacking move. A series of right wing passes led to Matt McClure side footing home with ease from close range.
Noah Chesmain made life difficult for the Beachboys backline and came within a whisker from a second when he struck low, millimetres past the right post. Chesmain was also on hand to shape a free kick just over the bar on the stroke of half time.
The hosts needed to up their game and were given a last saving grace courtesy of the crossbar as goalscorer McClure drove a fierce left footer off the woodwork. This lifeline was well received and Concord looked a lot livelier from here on out.
Joel Nouble causing problems with his dribbling skills saw a couple of efforts well blocked.
A corner routine crafted a good chance to equalise as Danny Green placed a deep delivery for Kreshnic Krasniqi who headed across goal for Lamar Reynolds, the latter blazing his volley wildly over the bar.
One last effort to rescue a point found Decarrey Sheriff cross low and dangerously to the arriving Reynolds but for a heroic last ditch block by captain George Elokobi.
The Stones saw out proceedings from here and rise to 12th with the win as Concord drop to 8th.
Quote from manager Hakan Hayrettin of Maidstone United.
“A very difficult team to play against and not many teams are going to come here and take points away so we’re very happy with the result today. One of the best sides we’ve faced this season, so it’ll give our players a great boost in confidence going forward.”
Quote from assistant manager Lee Minshull of Concord Rangers.
“Very disappointed in starting so slowly, and felt as soon as falling one nil down knew it was going to be difficult to turn around. Felt as though the luck went against us today.”
Report by Jack Smith
Entertainment rating – 2/5
Star man – Matt McClure (Maidstone United)
Concord Rangers – Haigh 7, Olufemi (c)6, Claridge 6, Blanchfield 6 (Reynolds 6 54), Roast 7, Cawley 7, Green 7, Kresniqi 7, Okojie 6, (Sheriff 7 54) McGavin 6 (Moncur 70), Nouble 7
Unused Subs – Gardner, Pollock
Maidstone United – Cole 7, Hoyte 7, Elokobi (c)7, Corne 7, Edwards 6 (Kamdjo 6 66), Amaluzor 7, Chesmain 8, Wishart 7 (Akanbi 83), Khan 6, Johnson 6, McClure 8
Unused Subs – Kamdjo, Knight, Lewington, Allen, Knight
Referee – Philip Staynings