Maidstone United Match Preview

On Saturday City make the third of five trips to Kent when they travel to the Gallagher Stadium to visit high flying Maidstone United for what is always a tough fixture.

The Stones are currently in second place with 45 points from their 23 matches, six points behind leaders Dorking before the latter’s midweek fixture.

This will be our second meeting of the season as Maidstone secured a convincing 3-0 win at Twerton back in late September with goals from Taylor Curran and Joan Luque.

That left Maidstone and neighbours Dartford opening up a significant lead at the top of the early season table but a resounding defeat to the Darts in the FA Cup the following Saturday started a run of seven games without a win which saw them drop to as low as 10th.

However, they have returned to the top end of the division following an eleven match unbeaten run stretching back to mid November which included what must have been a very sweet 4-0 revenge trouncing of Steve King’s team.

Nine goals have been scored in their last two outings, including another 4-0 victory over challengers for promotion, this time Kent rivals Ebbsfleet.

With only 20 goals conceded The Stones have the best defensive record in the division, although City will take heart that three clubs, including struggling Slough Town, have come away with the three points from the county town.

And those supporters who witnessed our last visit to the Gallagher Stadium will have fond memories of a very cold Tuesday evening almost exactly two years ago when goals from Frankie Artus and Sam Pearson secured a fine 2-0 win.

That victory was certainly to be savoured as City’s record in the Kent town is a poor one with only one more victory in the previous sixteen visits and that was courtesy of a Keith Brown goal way back in 1986. Most of those matches were played at the old London Road ground and we have only made two visits to the impressive Gallagher Stadium.

The few who have managed to get on the score sheet include other illustrious names such as Peter Rogers, Richard Bourne, Martin Wheeler and Peter Hayes whose sad passing was recently announced.

Maidstone attract excellent attendances to the Gallagher Stadium which has some of the best facilities at this level. While one side is open with no terracing, this is opposite probably the most impressive grandstand in the division which provides an excellent view of the match.

Both ends are covered and help give the ground the feel of the National League, where of course the Club has recently played. Unfortunately that also extends to segregation of home and away supporters being strictly enforced.

Maidstone have one of the better 3G pitches and provided advice for City in our research on the subject.

The Club’s website provides plenty of information for visiting supporters including admission prices and local attractions.

The 150 mile trip from Bath will take around 3.5 hours. At the time of writing a decision has not been made on whether a Supporters Club coach will run so you are best advised to check on its website.

The train trip will take just over 3 hours via Paddington and Victoria with a ten minute walk from Maidstone East station to the ground.