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Maidstone United 2-2 Dartford match report

Elliott Romain scored both goals against his old club as Dartford twice fought back to draw at Maidstone in the FA Trophy.

Romain cancelled out efforts from Dan Wishart and Justin Amaluzor to take the third qualifying round tie to a replay at Princes Park on Tuesday night.

Dan Wishart fires Maidstone in front at the Gallagher Picture: Matthew Walker
Dan Wishart fires Maidstone in front at the Gallagher Picture: Matthew Walker

The sides drew 2-2 in the league just a week ago and will be the sick of the sight of each other, with a Kent Senior Cup tie still to fit in, too.

Romain saved all his Maidstone goals for cup competitions last season, failing to score in the league, but he was always a good player, a tremendous worker who never gave defenders a moment’s peace.

The Darts made the better start with Luke Wanadio getting in down the right two or three times.

On one occasion he was picked out in space following a good run by Romain but his shot was blocked, then he laid a goal on a plate for McQueen, who fired over from a couple of yards out.

There was an early blow for Maidstone when in-form Ibby Akanbi went off with a knock - perhaps precautionary with next weekend’s FA Cup tie at Blackpool in mind.

But that meant a chance for Jake Embery and he had a hand in Wishart’s 38th-minute opener as Maidstone scored from their first shot on target.

Embery, feeling his way back to fitness after a broken collarbone, flicked the ball into the path of Wishart who thumped a terrific half-volley into the far corner.

McQueen worked space for a shot early in the second half but it went out for a corner off a Stones defender, then Tom Bonner glanced a header wide after a getting a run on his man from Wanadio’s corner.

Dan Wishart celebrates his opener with Saidou Khan and Jake Embery Picture: Matthew Walker
Dan Wishart celebrates his opener with Saidou Khan and Jake Embery Picture: Matthew Walker

Dartford continued to threaten with McQueen unable to sort out his feet when found by Ky Marsh Brown six yards out.

An equaliser looked on the cards and it arrived seconds later, in the 65th-minute, when Romain nodded home Marsh-Brown’s cross.

Romain then went close from a free-kick but Maidstone went back in front in the 70th minute with Amaluzor in acres of space from Wishart’s cross to finish.

However, the lead was short-lived with Romain volleying home his second from a Bonner knockdown as Dartford made it 2-2 in the 73rd minute.

McClure hit the side-netting from Wishart’s pass as Maidstone went close to a third.

Maidstone: Cole, Hoyte, Marshall, Elokobi, Chesmain, James, Khan, Amaluzor (Allen 78mins), McClure, Wishart, Akanbi (Embery 24mins) Subs not used: Pennell, Kyei, Edwards, Lewington, Johnson.

Dartford: Smith, Marsh-Brown, Pugh, Vint, Hill, Bonner, Wanadio, Allen, Hayes (Mendy 59mins), Romain, McQueen. Subs not used: Sesay, Evans, Walsh, Edmundson, Hawkes.

Attendance: 1,255 (252 away).

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent


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