Maidstone turn on power after Wilkin strike halts goal drought

    Dan Barnaby
    Man of the match Dan Barnaby

    Tunbridge Wells men’s 1st XI 1-2 Maidstone

    By Brandon Begg

    Following Tunbridge Wells’ failure to score in their last outing, they were unable to maintain a lead gained against a strong Maidstone side.

    The match played at Tonbridge School had a similar flavour to the team’s previous game in the first period – in that ­Tunbridge Wells held much of the possession yet were again unable to convert their chances.

    There was no question that Wells were suffering from the absence through ­injury of coach Ben Allberry and captain Callum Wood, who have notched almost a dozen goals between them already this season. However, there were welcome ­returns for James Beck and Matt Wilson.

    The game remained goalless until shortly before half-time, when a well-worked short corner routine saw Louis Wilkin deflect the ball neatly into the bottom corner to give Wells the lead.

    The second half was a lot more open with Maidstone having to chase the game. But the discipline of Wells’ marking was less rigorous than in the first half, meaning that when their attacks broke down, Maidstone always looked threatening on the break.

    Ultimately, two short-corner strikes of their own allowed Maidstone first to level the scores and ultimately to snatch the three points despite a man of the match performance at the back from the home side’s Dan Barnaby.

    Wells will look to find their scoring boots again when they travel to Crawley next Saturday and recover their ­early-season winning momentum.