North Ferriby United: 0
Maidstone United: 2 (Liam Enver-Marum 11; Alex Fisher 49)
There is no denying that Maidstone deserved this win. Despite having Jack Evans sent-off after 43 minutes they controlled the rest of the game and won comfortably in the end.
Maidstone started the game strongly and forced Ferriby back for the first 15 minutes. They went close with efforts from Liam Enver-Marham, Alex Fisher and Kevin Lokko before taking the lead after 11 minutes. A quick break from their own half saw Tom Mills’ low cross from the left swept home by Enver-Marum at the near post. Once again, The Villagers had conceded another early goal.
Surprisingly, it was Ferriby who were boosted by the goal and they gradually hauled themselves in to the game. They struggled to bypass the Maidstone back-four in the air. However, once they played the ball on the ground they forced the visitors back.
Vinny Mukendi fired a shot narrowly wide. Danny Clarke’s back-header was fumbled by keeper Lee Worgan but the keeper recovered to grab the ball as Reece Thompson was ready to pounce.
Ferriby dominated the final 20 minutes of the half but failed to draw a save from Worgan in this period
Clarke saw one shot blocked and another deflected for a corner. This was one of four corners in two minutes as Ferriby built the pressure. Unfortunately, a Mark Gray header was the closest they came to a goal.
Evan’ sending-off for pulling down Thompson as the striker went past him should have been the turning point but the interval came as a relief to Maidstone.
Had Ferriby begun the second-half like they finished the first they probably would have won the game. However, once again, they started slowly and Alex Fisher, who had a good game, scored on the turn from the edge of the area after 49 minutes.
The goal seemed to deflate Ferriby and they struggled to create any impact for most of the half. There was no real spark to their game and they rarely threatened.
It was Maidstone who created most of the chances. Kevin Lokko saw a header saved by Rory Watson and Fisher drew a save from the keeper. It was to Maidstone’s credit that they pressed forward as often as they did. At times it was difficult to know which side was actually playing with 10 men.
Ferriby thought they had pulled a goal back after 74 minutes. Lokko turned a cross in to his own goal but Ferriby’s celebrations were cut short when the goal was disallowed for off-side. The decision surprised most people both on and off the pitch.
Maidstone went close through Bobby-Joe Taylor, Nathan Mavila and Fisher as the game closed. Ferriby’s only response was a header from Mark Gray that drew a diving save from Worgan
A disappointed Ferriby manager, Steve Housham said,
“That was our worst performance of the season. We looked a beaten side and that hurts the players and myself.
We are a young team and the players have got to learn quickly. We have to focus from the start of each half and not concede early goals.
“I believe in this squad but they have to continue to earn that belief. We need to pick ourselves up for Tuesday’s game at Gateshead.
“The only bonus from today is that we are still outside the bottom four.”
NFU: (4-1-3-2): Rory Watson ; Ben Middleton, Mark Gray, Jake Skelton, Taron Hare, Connor Oliver (Ryan Fallowfield 75), Danny Clark, Simon Russell , Danny Emerton, Reece Thompson, Vinny Mukendi (Ryan Kendall 65)
Subs not used: Alfons Fosu-Mensa, Sam Topliss , Ross Armstrong
Maidstone United: Lee Worgan , Jack Evans , Jamie Coyle , Kevin Lokko , Tom Mills , Tom Murphy (ReeceHall-Johnson 45, ), Jack Paxman (Nathan Mavila 80), Dan Sweeney , Bobby-Joe Taylor , Alex Fisher , Liam Enver-Marum (James Rogers 75)
Subs not used: Ben Greenhalgh, Jack Richards,