Resilient Romans victorious on the road again

City produced another battling performance this evening to beat play-off rivals Maidstone United by two goals to nil at the Gallagher Stadium. Despite a bright start from the home side it was City who struck first on 16 minutes, as Frankie Artus’ 25-yard shot took a slight deflection to fly past Cole’s despairing dive. This put the Stones off their stride and City began to look the more confident side, although in stoppage time Marshall headed home but not before he’d clearly fouled Ryan Clarke. The second half began with Clarke getting down well to Akanbi’s low shot as the Kent side pushed City back. However, the Romans stood up resolutely to this pressure much to the increasing frustration of the home players and supporters. Only twice did they suffer a real nervous moment, Amaluzor’s 82nd minute low shot striking the foot of the post then, seconds later, Allen went to ground under Alex Hartridge’s challenge right on the edge of the box. The referee awarded a foul but to City’s relief he viewed the challenge as just outside the box and the free-kick came to nothing. Maidstone continued to push forward but this left gaps at the back and two minutes into stoppage time City made the game safe when debutant Dan Martin raced forward to set up Sam Pearson for a composed finish.