Closer than the score suggests….
Much better performance all round
This was the first time these two sides had met this season since the scheduled away game for October was, by agreement, postponed, and still has to be played.
In view of the disparity in League positions, and some of the results Valence have suffered this season, Maidstone might have come expecting to go away with a double figures result. If so, they would have been disappointed, as this was a much more workman-like game from Valence.
Maidstone scored two in the first half, the first a cross from the baseline to an unmarked forward close to the goal, and the second from a short corner. Keeper Young was in good form though, saving a drag-flick short corner and diving to his right to stop a reverse stick shot in open play. Valence did not manage to take full advantage of the opportunities they created in attack, apart from when Alex Stamp scored an emphatic goal, flat hitting a cross from Marcus Bawden. It went like a bullet. James Stanford saved a head height drag flick short corner on the line. Score at half-time 1 : 2 to Maidstone.
The second half continued in much the same way, with Valence successfully limiting Maidstone's endeavours - another drag-flick save by keeper Young amongst other good work. Maidstone did however manage two more goals, the third from a converted short corner and the fourth a good strike from open play, from their centre half who was allowed to waltz into the D!
This game will have given Valence good experience of what to expect in the outstanding return game, and the chance to work out how to do even better then.