Today the U16's KYL team welcomed Maidstone United back to Greatness Park. Our opponents had recently knocked us out of the Kent County Cup and last week they had beaten Tonbridge Angels the current KYL Central Division leaders. However, the Oaks are still unbeaten at home in the league and our boys were keen to make amends for our cup exit.
Toby now had Hathway, Rumbol and Travers available for this game, as well as his two new signings Lewis Chambers and James Moon. The game started with bright sunshine only to be replaced with hailstones, rain and yet another gloomy cold Sunday afternoon. However, this game was going to keep both sets of supporters entertained with some great football and goals that would not have looked out of place on Match of the Day.
The Oaks started brightly and attacked Maidstone directly from the kick off. Our boys played with passion and a high tempo that Maidstone were struggling to come to terms with. Suddenly on the fifth minute, Cooper slipped the ball to McCarthy who was just outside of the penalty area. He flicked the ball into the air with his first touch and then hit a powerful shot that nestled in the goal, leaving the united keeper stranded on his line. 1-0
Maidstone tried in vain to get a foothold in the game and their midfield worked hard in an attempt to get there strikers through on goal. However, the Oaks defence were not in the mood to concede any goals and the defence of Baillie, Wolfe, Rumbol and Travers dealt with everything that our opponents could throw at them.
McMenamin was showing some great strength and skill down our right and on the 15th minute his good work saw him drive into the area and play the ball to Hathway. Hathway used his strength to turn the defender, before playing an inch perfect pass to Watkins. Charlie’s first touch saw him deceive the defence and he then stroked the ball beyond the Maidstone goalkeeper for the Oaks second goal of the game. 2-0
The Oaks dominated possession for the rest of the half and Maidstone were restricted to the occasional long range effort that never really troubled our goalkeeper. This period of forty minutes was probably the best that the Oaks had played this season and they had accomplished this feat against very good opposition.
The second half commenced with Maidstone making all the running and looking to try and dominate in key areas of the pitch. The Oaks had started a little nervous and the game was frequently interrupted by a number of free kicks. Suddenly on the 62nd minute, Maidstone were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Oaks penalty box. Our opponents scored with a delicious shot that went over our wall and gave our goalkeeper no chance. 2-1
The game became stretched with both teams pushing to score more goals. The Oaks had several good chances to extend the lead, but this was not to be. Maidstone to their credit kept on attacking, even when they were reduced to ten men for an alleged straight red card offence. Maidstone only breached our defence once during the game, but Callum Wilkins bravely dived onto the ball to thwart the attack. 2-1
This was a very good performance against one of the Kent Youth League's top teams. At the moment the honours lay even, with one more mouth watering game to play, which will be at the Gallagher Stadium. A brilliant display by all of our boys and good debuts from our two new players. As well as being rock solid in defence, our midfield of Burden, Watkins, Chirnside, Strachan, Cooper, McMenamin, Hathway, Chambers and Moon all proved themselves to be creative, strong and resolute. McCarthy our striker also scored a wonder goal in his pursuit of this year’s golden boot trophy. Well done lads and roll on next week.