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Maidstone United
Lowestoft Town
Sat 5 Oct 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 2,041

Maidstone United 2 Lowestoft Town 0

Lowestoft Town put in a good performance, especially in the first half but come away with nothing in a 2-0 defeat at Maidstone United.

Att 2041

Maidstone United: Worgan, Sullivan, Mills, Watt, Sobers, Phillips, Smith (Hill 80 mins), Saraiva, Attwood (Lye 78 mins), Collin (Booth 87 mins), Flisher. Subs; Lye, Hill, Booth, Andrews, Mitten
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Williams, Gaughran, Gleeson, Haynes-Brown, Okay, Jack Ainsley, Lee Smith, Eagle (Stuart Ainsley 74 mins), Henderson, Frew (Reed 66 mins). Subs; Adam Smith, Stuart Ainsley, Reed, Bailey, Viner

Lowestoft Town put in a good performance, especially in the first half but come away with nothing in a 2-0 defeat at Maidstone United.

Lowestoft were faced with a 3G pitch again, as per the Harlow game in the FA Cup. Fisk was out injured, Gleeson started and both Jake Reed and Luke Bailey started on the bench.

A huge crowd resulted in a five minute delay to the kick-off but with a crowd of 2041 to greet them, the players took to the pitch with a spring in their step.

The match got underway with the Lowestoft supporters making themselves heard behind the goal, out singing a large home crowd.
It was a good start to the match with both sides showing a high tempo in their play but Lowestoft were first to see the target as Jack Ainsley and Williams worked well on the right side of the box, ending with Williams flashing a shot wide. Lowestoft were looking the sharper side and with Lee Smith having a great tussle with the defender, he set up Eagle but with too much time to think about it, he put his shot too close to the keeper and it was saved easily.
Gaughran was booked for Lowestoft after just six minutes but could count himself unlucky in what was the first challenge of the match. As the first ten minutes approached Lowestoft were seeing some good possession in the Maidstone half. Okay was looking busy, Jack Ainsley was lively down the right and Henderson, Eagle, Lee Smith and Frew were all showing great movement. Lowestoft were also closing down Maidstone well and were looking the better side, which prompted even more singing from the travelling supporters behind the goal.
Maidstone did give Lowestoft a prompt in the quality they have in their forward line though, with a ball being headed back to the edge of the box and Collin hitting a dipping volley just wide of the Lowestoft goal.
Williams was working hard at right back, looking alert defensively but also getting forward regularly. Lowestoft continued to look threatening around the Maidstone area and with Eagle and Lee Smith combining well, they put Henderson in on goal but the keeper was down well to deny him the chance to give Lowestoft the lead.
Jack Ainsley had now been switched to the left but was not looking as effective and was immediately moved back following a good Maidstone move, in which Jones had to smother a Collin shot on goal.
As the travelling supporters showed their appreciation of our great chairman by chanting "there's only one Gary Keyzor", Maidstone started to work the ball better than they had in the first thirty minutes of the match.
Up to this point Lowestoft keeper Jones had been calling and claiming well in the box but with him putting Gleeson under pressure with a ball to him in a dangerous position, the Lowestoft captain fouled and went into the book.
Smith was now using his pace and skill in midfield to try and get things going for Maidstone but it was Lowestoft who were still looking the better side of the first half.
With five minutes of the half remaining there was a coming together on the edge of the box between Henderson and Phillips and following a few handbags between the players, Henderson was booked but surprisingly Phillips wasn't.
Apart from the opening fifteen minutes, Henderson wasn't looking his usual self but Eagle was and after working another chance for a shot, he was yet again guilty of putting it too close to the keeper, as the sides left the pitch level at the break.

Lowestoft started the second period by pushing on well and yet again the Lowestoft supporters were getting right behind them vocally from behind the goal.
The game was starting to open up a bit more but it was Maidstone who came close to taking the lead. A corner was sent in and met on the volley by Watt but it hit a group of players on the line and the follow up shot from the edge of the area was saved by Jones.
Lowestoft then had a chance of their own cleared off the line, with an Eagle corner pin-balling off a few heads before dropping invitingly for Jack Ainsley to strike what looked like being the lead for Lowestoft.
Maidstone had more direction and threat to their play this half and with the sixty minute mark approaching they broke the deadlock. Following some good forward play by Maidstone, Flisher was found on the left and with the ball coming in and eventually finding its way to Collin, he finished really well for 1-0 (59 mins).
Lowestoft had been more than equal to Maidstone and even being one down they were still very much in the game. However, they allowed their heads to drop for a short period following the goal and before they could clear their heads, they were two behind. Attwood was found down the left and with him picking out Flisher he produced another classy Maidstone finish to make it 2-0 (62 mins). The scoreline was a little harsh on Lowestoft but it had been two classy finishes and Lowestoft needed to respond, as they introduced Reed in place of Frew.
It wasn't quite going for Lowestoft now though and even with Haynes-Brown and Henderson working well down the left, a pulled back ball went into empty space with no blue shirt in the vicinity.
Things then got worse for Lowestoft and effectively ended the contest, as Gleeson picked up his second booking of the game and was given his marching orders with just under twenty minutes of the game left. Stuart Ainsley replaced Eagle but the Maidstone defence were keeping it tight, with Phillips and Watt in particular looking solid for the home side. In truth the final fifteen minutes of the match passed with nothing of note happening at either end, as Maidstone used all their subs and Jones picked up another booking for kicking outside his box again.

It was a frustrating result for the blues, after looking good up until the first goal went in but two classy finishes were enough to secure the win for a well drilled Maidstone side.

The Lowestoft players need to keep their heads high though, as particularly in the first half they more than matched Maidstone. If a couple of Eagle shots had just been a yard either side of the keeper then the scoreline could have been much different. Okay looked effective again in his box-to-box role but the Man of the Match for Lowestoft was Haynes-Brown, who yet again put in a solid showing. Over the last few games Haynes-Brown has looked back to his best and is now showing great pace, solid defending and the drive to his game that we all love to see. Well done Curtis on another fine individual performance.

After the match I asked Micky Chapman for his summary of the game:-
A pretty good performance from the team today? "The boys worked their socks off today and first half I thought we were excellent. We were away from home on a different surface again and even though it's not an excuse, these guys (Maidstone) play on it week in, week out. It's different to grass and they train on it and play on it regularly, so it does take a little bit of adjusting to but our boys gave everything and worked really hard. Obviously we're very disappointed, as up until they scored the first goal I always felt we were well in it and always looked dangerous on the attack and were defending well. Unfortunately they got the first goal though and our heads dropped, which was clear to see. The second goal then went in and we then got someone sent off but that's football and you've got to deal with that. So a disappointing day but really happy with the support we had here today with the coaches and cars full of supporters coming along and getting right behind the boys with their singing and support. Today is typical of where we are at the moment with things not really going for us but we're re-building and the spirit in the dressing room is still very good. We've got a great bunch of lads who will keep working and I have no doubt we will still be competing at the top come the end of the season".

Attention now turns to the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday night, when Lowestoft travel to local rivals Bury Town in what offers to be a mouth-watering game.

Terry Bullen

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Curtis Haynes-Brown

Player of the Match

Curtis Haynes-Brown

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Wealdstone 46 96
2. Kingstonian 46 85
3. Bognor Regis Town 46 85
4. Lowestoft Town 46 84
5. AFC Hornchurch 46 83
6. Dulwich Hamlet 46 82
7. Maidstone United 46 81


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