Mon 31
Maidstone United
First Team
L Sawyer (38' Pen)
Sawyer Wins Points For Clarets

Sawyer Wins Points For Clarets

By Adam May
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LEE SAWYER’S first half penalty was enough for the Clarets to return to Essex with all three points on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sawyer sent Worgan the wrong-way from 12-yards following Tom Mills’ clumsy challenge on Hugo Skepelhorn after 38-minutes.

Maidstone had a chance to level after Harry Morgan conceded a penalty for a trip on Alex Brown, but Alex Akfofi fluffed his lines and struck a post from the spot.

Skipper Jamie Coyle and Frannie Collin had chances late on but the Clarets held out for a crucial and hard-fought victory to put them seventh in the table and six points off top-spot.

Aiden Palmer, who has recently recovered from injury, was advised not to play by his doctor due to Maidstone’s artificial pitch, so in stepped Jonah Gosling in the only change of personnel from Saturday’s 2-1 victory over St Albans. Manager Mark Hawkes opted for a change in formation though with Mark Haines, Rory McAuley and Marvin Ekpiteta making the back three with Gosling and Luke Daley occupying the flanks.

And it was Billy Bricknell who almost haunted his former employers inside the first minute when he poked the ball into the net, only for his celebrations to be cut short with the lineman’s flag raised.

With a 2,117-strong crowd packing the Gallagher Stadium it made for an exciting atmosphere with both sides committing plenty of men in attack early on.

Ex-Claret midfielder Jack Paxman almost gave the hosts an invaluable lead within the opening 10 minutes when he sent a low shot towards goal, but it skimmed wide of the post.

The Clarets soon found their feet with some promising attacks but were almost undone by a moment of brilliance from Alex Akrofi. Lee Worgan’s punt up-field wasn’t dealt with by the City defence and the striker’s shot on the half-volley was always dipping but flew inches over the bar.

Despite Bricknell and Skepelhorn working on scraps for most of the first-half their pressing play was crucial, forcing Maidstone into a number of uncharacteristic errors.

Stone’s Jay May then appealed for a penalty after being outmuscled by the commanding figure of McAuley, who shrugged off May who got himself twisted before falling to ground.

Tempers started to fray for Maidstone as they had three players booked inside nine minutes with Paxman, Alex Brown and May all ending up in the book for late challenges.

Their frustration was soon echoed in the stands by the lack of decisions going their way – perhaps justly on some occasions – and were almost left further aggrieved when Bricknell won a soft free-kick on the right. McAuley failed to make the chance count however, heading into Worgan’s arms from Lee Sawyer’s set-piece.

Maidstone’s left-back, Tom Mills, was left red-faced when he conceded a penalty in the 38th minute, leading to the Clarets’ opener. Some great work by Skepelhorn saw the youngster skip past Manny Parry with ease before being tripped by Mills. Lee Sawyer then stepped-up to send Worgan the wrong way from 12-yards, burying his effort into the bottom corner.

Last season’s Ryman Premier Champions looked to level straight after the interval and almost profited from some wayward passes by the Clarets’ back-line.

In truth, both sides struggled to retain the ball after the re-start, although the hosts were gifted a chance to draw level 10 minutes into the half when they were awarded a penalty of their own. McAuley did brilliantly to deflect Jay May’s shot off the line but Morgan conceded a penalty for bringing Alex Brown to ground. Alex Akrofi then stepped up to hit the post from 12-yards, failing to turn Jay May’s rebound into the net and instead prodding wide.

Stones’ skipper Jamie Coyle went close to a leveller when he let fly on a shot from range and the effort whistled inches wide as they looked to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Eastbourne.

Chelmsford brought on Moses Makasi and Bagasan Graham in attempt to freshen the side up and it was a required change as the hosts charged on for a late goal and they had a couple of chances with a flurry of corners in stoppage time.

The goal never came and with Chelmsford scooping six points from six over the Bank Holiday weekend it suddenly looks a lot better for the Clarets with 13 points from a possible 21 so far this season. Could it be too early for play-off talk?

Maidstone United:

1. Lee Worgan
2. Callum Driver
3. Tom Mills
4. Jamie Coyle (C)
5. Manny Parry
6. Alex Brown
7. Jack Paxman
8. Joe Healy
9. Jay May
10. Alex Akrofi
11. Bobby-Joe Taylor


12. Mitchell Pinnock
14. Simon Johnson
15. Frannie Collin (On for Jay May, 65’)
16. Adam Birchall (On for Bobby-Joe Taylor, 65’)
17. Matt Bodkin (On for Alex Brown, 76’)

Chelmsford City:

1. Christian Dibble
2. Mark Haines
3. Jonah Gosling
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Rory McAuley
6. Marvin Ekpiteta
7. Luke Daley
8. Harry Morgan
9. Billy Bricknell
10. Hugo Skepelhorn
11. Lee Sawyer


12. Moses Makasi (On for Hugo Skepelhorn, 78’)
14. Bagasan Graham (On for Jonah Gosling, 61’)
15. Mason Bloomfield
16. Laurence Vaughan
17. Connor Pearce

Referee: Mr Lloyd Wood

Assistant referees: Mr Chris Mayatt and Mr Peter Killip

Bookings: Maidstone United: Jack Paxman (20’, foul), Alex Brown (24’, foul), Jay May (29’, foul), Lee Worgan (38’, dissent), Joe Healy (58, foul), Tom Mills (89’, foul)
Chelmsford City: Mark Hughes (56’, dissent), Christian Dibble (67’, time wasting), Marvin Ekpiteta (71’, handball)

Scorers: Maidstone United: None
Chelmsford City: Lee Sawyer (38’, penalty)

HT score: 0-1

FT score: 0-1

Attendance: 2,117

City Man of the Match: Mark Haines

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Match details

Match date

Mon 31, Aug 2015






National League South
Mark Haines

Player of the match

Mark Haines