Corne Double Damages Terras

A first-half double from Maidstone United-skipper Sam Corne made the difference as the Kent outfit handed us a 2-0 defeat last night at the Gallagher Stadium.

It took just three minutes for George Elokobi’s side to put themselves in front, when the goalscorer nodded the ball past Harvey Wiles-Richards.

Maidstone’s lead would be doubled just 10 minutes later, when Corne slotted past Wiles-Richards from the penalty spot.

Referee Nathan Oakes awarded the spot-kick after Sol Wanjau-Smith’s shirt was pulled by Corey Panter inside the box.

Chances would come our way, after the two goals, although the hope of a comeback eluded us, as the promotion-hopefuls ended the match with the win.

Though our search for our first point under Mark Molesley, since his return, continues, the new gaffer was “pleased with the way [the players] reacted to [their] poor start.”

Importantly, despite our loss, Dartford being defeated at the hands of Worthing mathematically guarantees our safety, with four games left to play.

Following Saturday’s away match versus Eastbourne Borough, Molesley made four changes, promoting Ben Winterburn, Joel Rollinson, Ezio Touray and Harry Jones from the bench.

Their introductions were in-place of Keelan O’Connell, Dan Roberts and Brandon Goodship, alongside Teddy Howe, who failed to make the matchday squad.

We were up against a side who had not only won four out of their last five league games, but also reached the FIFTH round of the FA Cup earlier this season.

Their fantastic form continued when they took the lead inside just three minutes.

It came from a dangerous Paul Appiah delivery, whose cross met the head of Corne.

The Maidstone skipper nodded the ball past Wiles-Richards’ left to give his side a 1-0 lead.

It wouldn’t take us long to respond, though, as Leo Hamblin had the chance to draw level.

The full-back turned defence into attack as he combined with Ezio Touray, before firing a powerful shot towards Lucas Covolan from a wide angle.

Hamblin’s chance wasn’t enough to keep the hosts at bay, as they were handed an opportunity from the spot just 10 minutes after their opening goal.

Panter was judged to have tugged on Wanjau-Smith’s shirt too tightly, before Corne grabbed his second of the game.

The marksman slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner, beyond Wiles-Richards, putting The Stones 2-0 up after just 13 minutes.

It was at this point that we grew into the game.

Parsons unleashed a strike at Covolan’s goal from approx. 20 yards, after Rollinson had picked him out with a pass.

Touray then anticipated a flick-on from Panter following a corner, only for Raphe Brown to snuff out any resulting danger.

This would be the case for Touray numerous times throughout the game, as the Maidstone defence were able to prevent our forward from getting a shot underway.

We were then forced to bring off Winterburn, who picked up a knock, in-place of Keelan O’Connell five minutes before halftime.

We still had time to half our deficit, when Brown’s slip handed Bearwish the opportunity to run into the box with the ball.

Covolan, however, managed to make the save, starting a counter-attack in the process.

They may have increased their lead had Jones not cut out a four-on-one opportunity, keeping the scoreline the same as the teams headed down the tunnel.

Rollinson capitalised on another defensive error almost immediately after the break, with Brown once again being forced to intercept incoming danger.

Jephte Tanga then fired a ferocious strike wide of the far-post as the hosts responded, looking threatening once more.

In end-to-end fashion, Parsons responded four minutes later, striking into the hands of Covolan as the game approached the hour-mark.

By now, the second-half excitement had petered out, but not before Matt Rush headed wide of goal from approx. six yards, courtesy of a Chi Ezennolim cross.

Though we did have one final chance before the match’s close when Parsons, with the ball at his feet, looked to send in an inviting cross.

The ball, however, landed safely into the hands of Covolan, as we left Kent empty-handed, victim to a well-oiled Elokobi machine.

Match report 
By Jack Webb

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