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Maidstone make it Cup double
Maidstone make it Cup double

Maidstone United made it a glorious double on the opening day of the 2019 Kent Cup Finals with a stirring victory over a Thamesmead Town side who never recovered from going two behind either side of half time.

A jubilant Stones boss – Steve Pritchard – who a couple of years ago had guided the club’s under 16s to County Cup glory – saw the Thamesmead team beat his side in the League Cup a few short weeks ago.

“They hammered us 5-1 that day and we just didn’t turn up. They are a very good side and because we’ve played them before we’d identified their good players and tried to do a job on them, and I think in the end we deserved to win the game and we’re really delighted!”

He went on, “It was a game of two halves with the conditions difficult for both teams. You can tell them what you’ve done in the past, but they deserved to be here today – we worked really hard to get here today, setting targets for every single player and every one of them met it! Really, really proud!”

It was a really flowing open game played in blustery conditions that both sides for periods struggled with, Maidstone’s Londen Lindsay heading wide from Bleu Landau’s free kick, whilst at the other end Rasheed Twani (whose battle with Roger Hilton was one of the highlights of the Final) forced Stones keeper Oliver Endersby into the first of a series of fine saves.

Maidstone took the lead after a terrific run from Harvey Welford, where the Stones number nine could easily have gone down, but he kept his feet brilliantly only to see his shot come back off of the bar, falling to James Lowman who coolly put United in front.

They doubled their lead ten minutes after the break when Dylan Alden was on hand to head home at the far post from a corner.

Two down with a mountain to climb and kicking into the wind, Thamesmead then had a real go at trying to get back into the game with Twani at the heart of a lot of the good things his side did. He was fouled for a penalty which saw Noah Joyce’s spot kick brilliantly saved by Endersby, before the keeper himself made a great one on one save to deny the Mead centre forward.

The Maidstone defence was creaking but was still just about holding on as Twani this time headed over from Elliott Nimmo’s cross before the Thamesmead number nine finally got the goal that he deserved as he got just enough on a Lateef Adaja cross to force the ball over the line to set up a stirring finish.

Lowman had the chance to seal the win only to get his shot horribly, horribly wrong before Twani’s one last chance saw Endersby again come to Maidstone’s rescue with his feet.

So, on the opening day of the Kent FA’s 2019 Cup Finals, it’s double delight for Maidstone United…

MAIDSTONE UNITED – Oliver Endersby, Roger Hilton, London Lindsay, Harvey Welford, James Lowman, Thomas Green, Freddie Bull, Dylan Aldan, Jake Squelch, Thomas Parris, Bleu Landau

Subs – Joe Terry, Alfie Dalton, Luke Barry, Finley Chatfield

THAMESMEAD TOWN – Ben Jay, Teddy Pacey, Elliott Nimmo, Jude Salmon, Luca Bradley, Harry Day, Noah Joyce, Rasheed Twani, Lateef Adaja, Harry Hopper, Deniz Osman

Subs – Charlie Smeeth, Sinayomi Abiola, Teddy Baughen, Josh Kelsey, Kavan Murphy

Referee – Ben Foster

Assistants – Sam Royden-Ryell & Tom Pettman

Fourth officials – Daniel Prokopowicz

Pictures supplied by PSP Images.