Published: 16:50, 28 August 2017 |
Updated: 18:24, 29 August 2017
There was nothing between Maidstone and National League leaders Dagenham on an entertaining afternoon at the Gallagher.
There were good chances at both ends in the bank holiday heat, but no goals, while Daggers finished a man down after right-back Sam Ling picked up two yellow cards in a minute during the second half.
Zavon Hines and Jack Paxman were rewarded for their match-winning substitute appearances at Sutton with starts, Tom Wraight and Reece Prestedge making way.
Meanwhile, there was a place on the bench for striker Johan ter Horst who’d been given the all-clear after shoulder surgery, coming on for his debut in the last 10 minutes.
Former Stones man Kevin Lokko, lining up for the Daggers, was booed on his return, having left the Gallagher on the eve of the season.
The sides produced a lively first half, particularly given the scorching heat, with both committed to attack, although the defences largely coped well.
Corey Whitely was the dangerman for the Daggers, a number of first-half chances falling his way, including heading wide in the opening minute when unmarked from a cross.
He later hit the bar from distance, Lee Worgan credited with a touch, and dragged a couple more chances wide from good positions.
No sooner had Whitely put his first chance wide then Maidstone could have taken the lead.
Josh Hare got his head to a Jai Reason corner and the ball fell to Delano Sam-Yorke in the six-yard box but Fejiri Okenabirhie blocked on the goalline.
Paxman fired over after a decent break, then a Joe Pigott free-kick was kept out by the fingertips of keeper Mark Cousins as United threatened again.
Worgan saved Okenabirhie’s header from a Matt Robinson cross towards the end of the half, with Sam-Yorke’s effort for Stones comfortably held by Cousins.
Stuart Lewis’ volley dropped wide after the break, Pigott sent two free-kicks over - one with a big deflection - while Hines fired wide against his old club.
The pace slowed - it had to in the temperatures - but it was still a good game.
Dagenham found themselves a man down in the 73rd minute after Ling picked up two yellows seconds apart.
Just booked for a foul on Sam-Yorke, he went in on Jai Reason and gave referee Gary Parsons little option.
Stones looked to turn the screw against the 10 men, Paxman’s first-time effort blocked and Pigott close from a Reason cross.
But there was a warning at the other end with Craig Robson’s diving header from a corner well saved by Worgan.
Maidstone: Worgan, Hare, Anderson, Reason, Lewis, Paxman, Hines, Sam-Yorke, Pigott (ter Horst 83mins). Subs not used: Finney, Prestedge, Wraight, Richards.
Attendance: 2,544 (272 away).
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