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Maidstone United manager George Elokobi praises Levi Amantchi’s goalscoring instinct after 92nd-minute equaliser in 1-1 draw with Farnborough

A defender’s work is never done when Maidstone striker Levi Amantchi is around.

Amantchi scored his 12th goal of the season in added time as the Stones salvaged a 1-1 draw against Farnborough in National League South yesterday.

Maidstone United striker Levi Amantchi. Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United striker Levi Amantchi. Picture: Steve Terrell

He’d been kept reasonably quiet by a well-organised away side before pouncing after Sam Corne’s shot hit the post.

The big man has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and is getting his rewards.

“He’s got a very good habit of putting the ball in the back of the net and long may that continue,” said Stones boss Elokobi, with his side fifth in the table.

“I must say, he didn’t have the greatest of games, and that’s an honest assessment from us.

“But one thing Levi does, what all our forward players do, is when you think they’re not in the game you need to watch out because they always focus on that one opportunity.

“That’s all we ask of our attacking players, to make sure that when that one opportunity comes, be in the right place, in the right area.

“It all boils down to the extra training sessions we have where the players go out and they do finishing and they make sure they’re picking out those areas.

“They’re in and around those areas and taking that into games, ensuring that, when it comes to them, they have to take those chances.

“It was good to see that falling into Levi but you have to get yourself in those positions for that to happen, so all credit to him for listening to Craig Fagan (Stones No.2) and myself for all the work we do with the forwards.”

Farnborough led through Taylor Mahoney’s 52nd-minute penalty but Maidstone came alive in the closing stages.

Elokobi said: “We’ve all seen it with proven goalscorers, all around the leagues, you can never say you’ve kept them quiet until the game finishes.

“It only takes that one moment where they’ve made a good movement in and around the spaces and they find themselves with a half-yard and it’s a goal - that’s what good strikers do.

“Levi’s up there in this league and long may that continue. “It’s not just him, it’s the players that play around him.

Report: Maidstone 1-1 Farnborough

“Sol Wanjau-Smith popped up with a good goal on Tuesday (2-0 Kent Senior Cup win against Gillingham) and hopefully it will be Joe Gbode’s turn soon and Razzaq Coleman De-Graft’s turn.

“It’s important they keep learning and taking in information and going out on the pitch and executing it.

“The tactical strategies, every coaching point we pass on to them, is for them when they go out on the pitch.

“They see it, they feel it, they sense it, because that’s what it takes and they put themselves in those positions where they can’t be marked by defenders all the time.”

Maidstone threw the kitchen sink at Farnborough in search of a winner but the visitors somehow survived.

United’s seven-match winning streak in league and cup may be over but the point was just as satisfying as some of the wins for Elokobi.

“It’s not just about wins,” he said.

“It’s about being resilient, stacking up the points, and not having the mindset of losing football matches, so again it’s credit to our group to be eight unbeaten now.

“They’ve put this run together and they didn’t want it to stop.

“We’ve shown that with the performance in terms of their determination and also their quality towards the end with some of the play.

“We weren’t just crossing the ball, we were putting the ball in good areas and on another day, without the great defending from Farnborough, it could have ended 3-1 to us.

“It was a real blockbuster in the last 10 or 15 minutes.”

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