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Maidstone United 0 Yeovil Town 1 match report

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone are out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to nine-man Yeovil at the Gallagher Stadium.

A record crowd of 2,811 saw the League 2 Glovers reduced to 10 men in the opening minutes.

At 1-0 up, they went down to nine when keeper Artur Krysiak was dismissed.

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Yeovil's Jakub Sokouk is sent off at the Gallagher Picture: Martin Apps
Yeovil's Jakub Sokouk is sent off at the Gallagher Picture: Martin Apps

But Stones, who saw a last-minute Alex Akrofi effort ruled out, couldn't break them down.

Maidstone sprung a surprise by naming Alex Flisher in the team for his first start of the season, while Callum Driver returned from injury and Jack Paxman was back from a ban.

Stones started well against the League 2 side who were down to 10 men after only seven minutes, defender Jakub Sokolik dismissed for a nasty lunge on James Rogers.

It almost did Yeovil - short on confidence and struggling in their league - a favour in that they were able to sit everyone behind the ball and let Maidstone get on with trying to break them down.

It’s an approach United have grown used to from visiting teams in the Ryman League and National South but finding a way past Football League opponents was a different proposition.

Stones probed away but it wasn’t easy. Matt Bodkin found himself free in the box but Alex Osborn’s cross went over his head, Flisher dragged an effort wide and Driver thumped a speculative effort well over.

Maidstone’s best moment arrived late in the half, Flisher’s long throw cleared only as far as Rogers whose first-time effort flashed inches over.

Unsurprisingly, Paul Sturrock’s visitors had shown little ambition.

Alex Osborn in action for Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps
Alex Osborn in action for Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps

Ryan Dickson curled a free-kick wide while they still had 11 on the park, while Josh Sheehan’s 30-yarder was easy for Lee Worgan.

Most of Stones’ best work went through Paxman and he was prominent early in the second half, firing wide from 25 yards.

Yeovil took the lead on 55 minutes with Wes Fogden pouncing after a rare error from Worgan, who flapped at a free-kick into the box.

But the Glovers were down to nine men just two minutes later.

Osborn intercepted a backpass and was taken down by keeper Krysiak on the edge of the area. Flisher had an open goal and wanted to play on but it was too late.

If Yeovil had shown little ambition with 10 men, they were in no hurry to come out and play with nine.

Stones had just over half an hour to make their two-man advantage count, turning to Akrofi and then last season’s cup hero, Frannie Collin, in a bid to find a way through.

Flisher thumped over and crossed for Akrofi whose diving header went wide - United’s best chance of the afternoon - with just over 10 minutes left.

Maidstone continued to knock at the door and saw Jamie Coyle’s header from a Bodkin corner hit the base of the post.

The Gallagher went mad as Akrofi met Mills' cross in the last minute of normal time but nobody had seen the linesman's flag.

Maidstone: Worgan, Driver, Mills, Coyle, Parry, Paxman, Bodkin, Rogers, May (Collin 74mins), Osborn (Akrofi 62mins), Flisher (Birchall 81mins). Subs not used: Watt, Taylor, Bridle-Card, Pinnock.

Attendance: 2,811.

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