By Lymeview
Saturday 27 May 2017 23:50:00
Browse all MATCH REPORTS articles

The Stones of Maidstone United played an important part in the history of the Silkmen in that they were our first opponents in the 1987/88 season when we made our bow in the GM Vauxhall Conference. For the record our line-up that day was Zelem; Roberts, Edwards, Tobin, Grant, Shaw, Hanlon, Lake (Esser), Glendon (Hardman), Burr, J Askey. The result was a 1-0 win for the Silkmen with the legend that is Steve Burr netting the winning goal on that glorious day!

With the Silkmen having already lost 10 games at the Moss this season (three more than we lost at home the season we were relegated from League Two), a good start was always going to be crucial. Sometimes in these situations you need a slice of luck and we certainly got that in abundance when the Maidstone number 5 Lokko made what could very loosely be described as a tackle leaving Rhys Browne scooting goalwards. The winger turned number 10 for the day, coolly slotting home an angled drive past Lee Worgan in the Stones goal to give Macc a dream start, and the home faithful something to cheer at long last.

Maidstone were top of the form table for the last four away matches, but the early setback seemed to knock the proverbial ‘stuffing' out of them and the Silkmen went on to create a string of chances in a curiously one sided first half, without being able to add to their lead in the first half. Worgan was previously with Tonbridge Angels and he made something of a heavenly stop (forgive the pun!) to keep out a point blank Browne header, whilst 'Pilks' saw his goal bound header cleared off the line. half. Back in August 1987 the Maidstone side included defenders called Risk and Roast (honest, I kid you not!). Anyway, Sir John had taken a risk playing Rhys Browne as an extra forward and the loanee from Grimsby Town certainly roasted an uncertain Maidstone defence.

After the break the classy Browne came close to extending the lead. An astute pass from the excellent Whitaker sent Rhys on a run through the centre leaving the hapless Lokko in his wake before just screwing his left foot shot wide of a post. A one goal lead is never a comfortable one and against the run of play the visitors came perilously close to an equaliser but were denied by a great double save from Craig Ross. Joe Pigott was the pick of the Stones front line and he evaded two tackles and looked sure to score but Ross parried his shot and then got up quickly to make a second save with his legs.

As the final whistle loomed, justice was done as the Silkmen added two further goals to give the score line a more realistic look. Firstly Rhys Browne, who had too much pace for the Stones defence all afternoon, was brought down in the area and the seemingly ageless Danny Whitaker converted the spot kick. Browne also set up the third goal feeding little wing wizard Jack Mackreth who cut inside a defender and steered a left foot shot past Worgan. The visitors were very poor on the night as one of their own fans commented on their forum, ‘the number of first touches that weren't controlled were extraordinary' but it was still a pleasing performance from the Silkmen and it was good to see the team set up with a more positive formation. As predicted the attendance was a disappointing 988 but it is worth mentioning that back in 1987 the crowd for our inaugural ‘Conference' match against the Stones was only 850.

Anyway here are the scores on the doors as I saw them:

Craig Ross 7.5: Craig didn't have that much to do but that double save was crucial and his handling and distribution were impressive.

Andy Halls 7.0: A steady game from captain sensible aka ‘Hallsy'.

John McCombe 7.0: 'Boom-Boom' was dominant in the air against an unimpressive Maidstone attack.

George Pilkington 8.0: The peerless Pilks was as calm and authoritative as ever.

David Fitzpatrick 7.5: 'Fitz' was one of our better players on the night.

Jack Mackreth 7.5: Jack came up against a decent left back in Tom Mills but most certainly came out on top in their personal duel. Jack was involved in many of our better moves and as usual did his stint in defence.

Danny Whitehead 7.5: Danny is a talented midfielder and combined well with Danny Whitaker.

Danny Whitaker 9.0: The legend that is ‘Whits' ran the game and gets the Man of the Match from yours truly.

Mitch Hancox 7.0: Mitch gets involved in the game in whatever role he is asked to play. It is good to know that he will be with us next season.

Rhys Browne 8.5: Rhys ran the Maidstone defence ragged. They couldn't cope with his pace and control and he looked quite at home in his unaccustomed more central role.

Chris Holroyd 7.0: As usual Chris worked hard and brought a good save from Worgan in the first half.


Luke Summerfield 7.0: Luke did well when he came on. I particularly like the perfectly executed ‘dummy' in the lead up to our third goal.

Enjoy the read!


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