Adrian Swan

Maidstone United Under 16’s continued their impressive start to the season with their fourth consecutive win defeating hosts Holmesdale 6-1 in the second round of the League Cup.

After an even start to the match it was the home side who had the first chances of the game.

On eight minutes Suhuyini Osman’s through ball had put Dennis Osei in on goal but his fierce shot was well saved by Stones keeper Liam Northwood for a corner.

From this taken by Lucas Torre the ball was cleared out to the edge of the area where Bethel Gboda struck a low effort narrowly wide. The visitors then started to get their passing game going and went close to taking the lead on 16 minutes when the lively Danny Partis made space well on the edge of the box before hitting a low shot that was well saved by Holmesdale keeper Jake Hennis.

Minutes later Hennis made an even better save to thwart Partis, after he had been slipped through on goal by a deft pass from Joshua Strouts, when he dived low to his right to turn the ball out for a corner. From this taken by Strouts the ball fell to Alfie Eyles whose shot on the turn flew just over.

On 22 minutes a great run by Sam Green almost gave Holmesdale the lead when he made a powerful mazy run at the heart of the Stones defence evading at least three tackles and getting through on goal but Northwood, spotting the danger, was quickly off his line to make a good close range block diving low to his left.

A minute later Holmesdale’s Osei hit a long range effort narrowly over before the hosts took the lead on 29 minutes from the penalty spot after Osman having got through on goal was upended by Ike Orji.

Osman took the spot kick himself and was fortunate to score as he scuffed his effort and although Northwood dived the right way low to his left he allowed the ball to bobble over him into the net.

Incidentally this was the first goal the Stones had conceded this season. However the lead did not last long as almost straight from the re-start Charlie Meade’s excellent low cross from the right flashed across the face of goal to the far post where it was tucked home by Bashri Ryan high to the left of Hennis.

Worse was to follow for the home side seconds later as from the kick off the ball was lost to Jack Palmby whose astute through ball put Partis in on goal and he made no mistake firing home low to the left of Hennis.

It was nearly three for the visitors on 39 minutes when Joe Abraham made a good run down the left before whipping over a low cross that Partis fired over.

In added on time at the end of the first half Holmesdale went close to drawing level when Osei made a strong forward run into the box, leaving Orji in his wake, but with only Northwood to beat his low shot flew  just wide of the target.

Early in the second half the speedy Abraham made another good run down the left before sending over a low cross that Meade fired into the side netting. Another good pass from Palmby then sent Abraham free down the left and he raced in on goal but his low shot was saved by Hennis diving to his right for a corner.

However Hennis was powerless to prevent the Stones going further ahead on 51 minutes when Scott Sanders hit a stunning shot from all of 35 yards that flashed home high to the right of the home keeper.

On 53 minutes the Referee Roger Wells, who officiated the match well, played a fine advantage allowing Ryan to continue his run through on goal after he had been fouled but Ryan’s shot flew narrowly wide of the target.

The Referee then booked the offender before restarting play. A minute later another slide-rule pass from Palmby put Partis in on goal but his low shot flew wide of the target. Partis then went even closer on 56 minutes when another fine Palmby pass put him in on goal but this time although his shot beat Hennis to his left the ball hit the post and bounced out to safety.

On 72 minutes Partis did get his second from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the box by Mason Rutherford, converting the spot kick low to the left of Hennis who dived right.

Minutes later Strouts found the run into the box of Meade whose close range shot was blocked by Hennis.

Holmesdale’s George Olayanji then had a close range effort blocked by Northwood before the visitors added two further goals in the final minutes.

On 76 minutes Palmby’s pass put Meade through on goal but as he tried to dribble around Hennis he was fouled resulting in the award of another spot kick.

This was again taken by Partis, who slotted home low to the left of Hennis as the home keeper dived right, to complete his hat trick.

A minute later it was six as another Palmby through ball found the run of Meade who fired home high to the left of the exposed Hennis.