Our last home game against Weston-Super-Mare was definitely a case of two points dropped. Cooky’s free kick that hit the post, Ben May’s header inside the six yard box, Billy’s one v one with the keeper and Michael Thalassitis not connecting with the cross when the goal was wide open were all golden opportunities to have comfortably won the game.
When you draw a game you analyse what type of draw it was and on many occasions this season we have drawn games that we should have won. I can’t remember too many draws when I’ve felt we were lucky to get a point.
We’ve created a lot of opportunities in those games which is always encouraging. The crumb of comfort when you drop points is that the performances have seen us create opportunities which at some point will be converted.
We then travelled to Chelmsford on the Monday night, a team very much changed from the one that beat us here earlier in the season. The pitch was in a dreadful state and you could see why they’ve struggled to get games on with the bad weather. We didn’t adapt our mentality regarding the conditions and the pitch for the first 30 minutes and Chelmsford took full advantage of that and went into half-time with a one-nil advantage.
We have to learn that on nights like that it really is just about rolling your sleeves up and winning ugly. All credit to the players though as I thought the second half comeback showed determination, passion, spirit and guile.
The referee took an enormous amount of stick on a night when, in our opinion, he got the majority of the major decisions correct. It was nice to see an official stay strong and positive even though he was pressurised by a hostile set of home supporters. Every club has a duty to protect the match officials and I believe a report was filed about a punch being thrown at him, something that no official should be subject to, however poor his performance may or may not have been.
Our youth system is now in full operation and I’m delighted to have secured Daryl McMahon and Steve Watt as our new youth coaches. Daryl leaves his post in Dagenham’s youth academy to join us on a full-time basis as youth academy manager and Steve will join as his assistant on a part-time basis. Both will continue to play for their respective football clubs.
I believe in time we will have a very competitive youth system that provides players for our first team. Daryl and Steve both have experience of playing for League clubs and both have experience coaching younger players in their respective jobs. They will be extremely busy over the next couple of months as our trials swing into full effect. We wish them every success and welcome them into their new roles at Ebbsfleet United.
I attended a league meeting recently held at AFC Telford and on the agenda was a proposal by Sutton United which was seconded by Maidstone to allow 3G pitches to replace grass pitches as the club’s main surface. As a squad we didn’t enjoy the pre-season friendly at Maidstone and several of our players missed the following training session with various injuries and aches and pains.
As a club we were opposed to the proposal and after the votes were counted, the motion was rejected with 21 votes against and only 11 for.
Unfortunately for Maidstone this means that if they were to gain promotion to the Skrill South this season they would not be allowed entry unless they change their current surface or ground share with a team that has a grass pitch.