Iron earns a share of the spoils at Maidstone

Maidstone United v Braintree Town – Vanarama National League South – Gallagher Stadium – Report

Maidstone United 1-1 Braintree Town 

Maidstone United and Braintree Town shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in difficult conditions at a windswept Gallagher Stadium.

George Elokobi made three changes to the team beaten 2-1 at Slough on Saturday with Gavin Hoyte, Perri Iandolo and Liam Sole coming into the side in place of Chi Ezennolim, Sam Bone and Matt Rush.

With Braintree having had their last two games postponed and taking the field for the first time since their 3-1 victory over Hampton & Richmond on January 6, Angelo Harrop handed striker Alfie Pavey his first start since returning to the club on loan from Woking. Jayden Davis signed on loan from Crawley Town for the remainder of the season, took his place on the bench for the first time.

Maidstone started at a lively pace early on and despite the Iron looking solid at the back – with Joe Grimwood and Ben Tomkins outstanding – Stones took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Paul Appiah’s pass set up Mo Faal to slot the ball past Jack Sims into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Iron grabbed a deserved equaliser in the fifty-second minute when Tom Blackwell’s corner was headed home by Grimwood from close range to make it 1-1.

Despite Braintree going close through Reggie Lambe, Shaq Coulthirst, Aaron Blair and Pavey, they could not add further to the score although Stones almost stole it near the end when the impressive Faal put sub-Manny Duku clear on goal, only for Sims to superbly palm away his snapshot.

Iron substitute Davis’s twenty-five-yard effort flew just inches over the bar near the end and this was the last real chance of the game with the referee’s whistle bringing the contest to a close shortly after with the points shared.

Next up for Braintree in the Vanarama National League South is a trip to Bolitho Park, Plymouth to play Truro City (3pm).

Maidstone United: Lucas Covolan, Gavin Hoyte, George Fowler, Jephte Tanga, Riley Court (Raphe Brown 80’) Mo Faal, Harry Kyprianou, Liam Sole (Manny Duku 63’) Bivesh Gurung, Paul Appiah, Perri Iandolo (Lamar Reynolds) Subs not used: Harley Earle, Chi Ezennolim

Braintree Town: Jack Sims, Leon Davies, Baris Altintop (Capt) Joe Grimwood, Ben Tompkins, Tom Blackwell (Jayden Davis 67’) Alfie Payne, Alfie Pavey, Aaron Blair, Shaquille Coulhirst, Reggie Lambe Subs not used: Lewis Miccio, Matt Ward, Michael Brothers, Gio Critchlow

Referee: Isaac Searle

Assistants: Tommy Breen and Lee Marwick

Attendance: 1,593