MoM: John Ratcliff
With Jonesy as manager/non-playing skipper what could go wrong? And we even had Dan Gent, Mens 1s player whom we proudly sponsor, his Mum Claire and their lovely St Bernard dog Rolo to support – thank you!
A first half suggested an end-to-end-tussle with neither side being able to score in an even match.
There were a couple chances at both ends but few and far between. Dono was in the action as always whilst the Maidstone keeper didn’t have a lot to do as the Friars forwards seemed to be firing on only 3 cyclinders (out of 4 or 6 depending on your point of view) The nearest chance was when John Aikin (for it is he!) shot a few inches wide but he did admit (but not till your intrepd journalist tracked him down on Sunday) to not quite feeling at his best after a Friday night work-related engagement that involved huge sacrifice.
Half-time Jaffas didn’t do the trick either, in fact the Friars went off the boil with unforced errors (what’s new) and an energised Maidstone squad. Their 15 man squad plus vocal manager seemed slightly excessive for an away game in a no-consequence-mid-position-bottom(almost)-league-end-of-season game. But a team above them had cancelled so what better way to occupy a Saturday afternoon with a cracking tea in East Kent at Polo Farm against some old decrepit Friars – well actually not so old these days! And for both teams to have managers shows the importance of bargain-basement games such as this!
In the end it was a freak goal that did for the Friars as a ball lodged in Dono’s pads that suddenly popped out for a lurking Maidstone poacher to almost blow the ball over the line it being such a shoe-in.
Despite a yellow card for a Maidstone mid fielder rather stupidly decided to have a chat with umpire Mr Sandey and earnest Friars attacks especially from Adam Mchale and John Ratty Ratcliff who had an outstanding game, the draw which would have been a fairer result proved elusive.
Many thanks to Phil Sandy and Martin Twyman for blowing their whistles and in Phil’s case having some interesting “conversations” with the Maidstone bench and their manager!