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Maidstone United vs Welling United – Preview
Maidstone United vs Welling United – Preview

It’s Kent derby day on Easter Monday when Maidstone United host Welling United in a Vanarama National League South match.

On Friday, the Stones hammered Eastbourne Borough five-one in Sussex. Sam Corne put the Stones ahead from the spot following a foul on Jephte Tanga before the hosts had Sam Beard dismissed. Pierce Bird equalised however he was also shown a red card early in the second half.

Against nine men it was only a matter of time before Maidstone went ahead again and Matt Rush scored the crucial goal with twenty-five minutes still to play. There was no further scoring until five minutes remained when Lamar Reynolds scored his first of a nine minute hat-trick. His third goal was a penalty after Tanga was again brought down in the area.

Meanwhile, Welling were winning a less eventful game against Dover Athletic. Riccardo Di Trolio’s first goal for the Wings with eighteen minutes remaining was sufficient for them to claim the win that took them seven points clear of the relegation zone whilst consigning the Whites to relegation.

When the two teams met in a Tuesday evening game at the J. Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium in October, the honours were shared in a goal-less draw. Both teams had good spells, and will feel that they should have won, but overall a draw was a fair result.

At home, Maidstone have won twelve, drawn five and lost just three. They have won their last four league matches, conceding just once. On their travels, the Wings have won just three times, drawn seven and lost ten. However, their recent record of two defeats in fourteen matches would be promotion challenging form if maintained throughout the season.

In the last meeting between the two teams at the Gallagher Stadium, back in December 2021, Dipo Akinyemi put the Wings ahead before Dominic Odusanya equalised within five minutes. Roarie Deacon put the Stones ahead minutes later and they didn’t look back. Second half goals by Jack Barham and Gavin Hoyte rounded off a comprehensive victory.

Both teams will want the points for very different reasons, Maidstone to try and seal a top three place, while Welling will be looking to extend the difference between them and the drop zone.

Image courtesy of Dave Budden