Maidstone Match Report

Steyning Town FC”s exciting run in this seasons FA Cup finally came to an end on Saturday. Officially the lowest ranked club in the country left in this seasons competition, having won three rounds previously,  the Barrowmen bowed out with a spirited performance against a full-time professional side in Maidstone United of the national league.

It was party atmosphere at the Shooting Field with a beer tent, 60 young mascots and music, and Steyning put on a fine display in front of a crowd of 1,135 people.; their highest crowd for 35 years. They can be very proud of the performance after causing Maidstone United a few scares along the way, going in at half-time only 2-1 down. However, at the end of the day a 4-1 victory for the visitors was probably a fair reflection of the overall balance of play.

Steyning’s best period period in the game was the 15 minutes before half-time. Maidstone has gone into a well deserved two nil lead in the first half an hour with two goals from the lively Wanjau- Smith, the first of which was very harsh on Steyning with what appeared to be a clear foul on Francis not picked up by the referee.

However, Towncame rip, roaring back at them shortly before half-time. Charlie Meehan pouncing on a mistake to make it to one with a fine low finish, and then in front of an increasingly vociferous atmosphere pulled Colovan in the Maidstone goal in to action again with a fingertip save. Numerous attacks in this phase of the game were causing the visitors some problems and they were obviously happy to hear the half time whistle.

Maidstone clearly regrouped well at half-time and came out again on the front foot in the second half it was a long before they added to the lead with a scrappy goal poked home after a fine save by the impressive Lucas in the Steyning goal.

And on 70 minutes they wrapped the game up as Wanjau-Smith completed his hat-trick with a thumping finish to reflect their dominance in the second period.

After this Steyning were beaten, but not down and created another good chance, as Shooman went clear down the middle and did well to reach a bouncing ball and lob the advancing keeper, but the ball dropped narrowly wide. That would’ve been a thrilling finish to a fun afternoon.

Lucas also made a couple more fine stops in the final quarter of the game which deservedly earned him the man of the match award. The final whistle went much to the delight of all supporters.; Maidstone celebrating the win and the Steyning supporters celebrating a fine afternoon. The drinking in the beer tent went on well into the evening. What a day. What an occasion. What an enjoyable match. This is one that will live long in the memory of everybody who was there.

Overall Steyning can be really proud of their performance, and certainly impressed with their passing style of football against a well drilled and clearly very fit side. To be able to stick to their passing principles, and play out from defence was testament to the courage and skill of the team, something that will stand them in good stead for the challenges ahead in this long season. For now the FA Cup dream is over however this coming Saturday they pay in the FA Vase against Whyteleafe FC, again at the Shooting Field

The club hopes that they may have been a number of new supporters gained last week and hope to have a good crowd, cheering them on in the Vase match.

Steyning: Lucas Fuller Oladokun Da Costa Shooman Remfry Barnes Francis Radley-Martin, Meehan Towning

Subs used: Hallett, Clark, Edwards

Not used: Goldson, Robinson, Charlwood, Pickering

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