Saints put to the Sword

City were brought back down to Earth with a bump on Saturday as they fell to a 4-0 defeat against Maidstone United at The Gallagher Stadium.

The hosts created the first opening of the game inside a minute when Ibby Akanbi broke down the left and cut into the area before seeing his powerful drive turned away by Snedker.

The Saints, however, created issues for John Still’s men with a high press that had some success early on. Solomon Nwabuokei picked the ball up just outside the area and found Banton, but having danced past one defender, the forward’s low effort from the angle drifted wide of the mark.

Darren Foxley went even closer just two minutes later. A long-ball forward was chested down by Joe Iaciofano into his path and the wide-man sent a rasping first time drive from twenty-yards inches wide of the far post.

Just as the Saints looked to be taking control of the game, Maidstone took the lead out of the blue. A cross from the right fell to Matt McClure and the forward saw his header fortunately loop over Snedker’s head and into the far corner of the net.

Despite that set back Ian Allinson’s side continued to cause trouble for the Stones and were presented with two opportunities inside 90 seconds.

Nwabuokei latched onto a miss-placed pass from a home defender and powered into the area, but instead of opting to shoot, laid it off to Banton who was denied by a last ditch Elokobi block.

The resulting corner was not fully dealt with by the hosts and it eventually fell to Diedhiou on the far side of the box, but he saw his low cross hacked out of the goal mouth by former Saint Clovis Kamdjo.

As the game entered additional time the Saints were made to rue those openings. Maidstone won the ball deep in City’s half and it was played into the path of McClure, who took a touch and sent a low strike goal wards that deceived Snedker.

That goal appeared to take the wind out of City’s sails and they struggled to regain their foothold in the match after the interval.

McClure completed his hat-trick in the sixty-third minute when he won the ball off of Shulton in the City area and chipped the ball over the on-rushing Snedker.

That goal prompted a triple change from Ian Allinson, as Georgiou, Merson and Howe were introduced.

Those changes couldn’t prevent a fourth and final goal for the hosts however, as Sam Corne latched onto a low delivery and sent a powerful effort from close range into the top corner.

It proved to be an afternoon to forget for the Saints and leaves Ian Allinson and Glen Alzapiedi with plenty to think about ahead of Saturday’s trip to Weymouth for an FA Cup Third Qualifying Round clash.

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Saints head to Stones