28th March 2008. 12.00pm
It's another crucial weekend for the Stones
as they aim to put a gap between themselves and the
As ever, injuries will once again have an impact on
team selection but joint manager Alan Walker remained
confident; "We obviously go into the game with
a great deal of confidence particularly after a good
performance last Monday, but we certainly don't go in
to this game over-confident, as Wealdstone are themselves
fighting against relegation and have also had some good
results recently so we will have to earn the right to
win. That said, we showed a mix of guile, strength and
pace up front last Saturday with Tiesse and Erskine
up front and a good performance from Freeman, who won
us the penalty has softened the blow from losing Hegley
through injury. We will also be without Ben Lewis again
and that's a big loss in terms of his prescence on the
pitch, bit Lee Shearer is now available having completed
his suspension and I'm sure he will come back stronger
than ever as the time off has given him time to get
over the niggling injuries which he had."
Sam Tydeman and Nick Hegley remain major doubts ahead
of the weekend as they try to shake off injury and definitely
out is Chris Smalling who is away on international duty.
In other team news, the club also announced today that
they had released Rob Owen. Commenting on his release,
Alan Walker said; "He wasn't selected for the squad
last week and there was little chance for him this weekend
so we agreed to allow him to try and get first team
football elsewhere before the transfer deadline closes.
He may well return to the club at a future date but
for the moment we felt this was the best way forward
for him. He has obviously been a great player for the
club this season and we obviously hope he can play a
part in the future as well."
You can follow the game live with goal flash updates
on the official site, but if you are away from a PC
and can't make the game, don't forget you can get the
goals straight to your phone via our goalflash alerts
SMS service which returns this weekend, click
here for details.
21st March 2008. 6.00pm
club formally cancelled the playing contract of popular
midfielder/defender Errison Ahwan today by mutual consent.
Ahwan had been with The Stones for just under two seasons
since joining from Kent League rivals Beckenham Town and
in that time he played 67 times for the club scoring 13
goals in the process.
Errison made the decision earlier this season to make
himself unavailable for selection on Saturdays
due to his religious beliefs as a Seventh Day Adventist
(Saturday being treated as their day of worship). Errison
said today That was a very difficult decision
to make for me personally. Id let my faith lapse
over the last three or four years and it was beginning
to trouble me. When we got to around the time that we
played Leyton away I was not certain that playing football
on Saturdays was what I should be doing and I had several
long discussions with my close friends and family over
the issue. They left it up to me to decide though.
Now that Ive made the decision I am very
happy and it feels like a huge weight has been lifted
from my shoulders. I have to thank Alan Walker and Lloyd
Hume for their understanding over my circumstances,
after all its not every day that a player comes
along with this type of issue! Ive also got to
thank the Chairman for his support of me over my time
at the club and his plans for the future for Maidstone
When I made my announcement I checked the supporters
message board to see what peoples reaction to
my decision was and to be honest I was amazed at how
positive and kind the fans were towards me and my situation.
I was literally left with a lump in my throat at some
of the kind comments. Whatever happens from now on,
I will always consider Maidstone United as my
club. I loved my time with Maidstone and of course
winning the league last year was very special indeed.
Id just like to say thanks to everybody at the
Errison will continue to play football but not on Saturdays.
His friend of 10 years, Simon Jones, has just taken
over the reins at Kent League Sevenoaks Town and Errison
will help out with some training at Greatness Park and
will also turn out for The Oaks on Easter Monday. However,
The Stones will retain Ahwans Isthmian League
registration until the end of the season on a non-contract
20th March 2008. 11.00am
Stones go into the weekend's Bank Holiday fixtures
with two key players suspended plus injury concerns for
Lee Shearer misses the next two games due to suspension,
whilst Rob Owen will miss Saturday's home game with
Chelmsford, but will be available on Monday for the
clash at East Thurrock. On the injuries front, Mark
Saunders has a suspected broken thumb, but the swelling
around the injury means a further x-ray is required
to confirm this. Hume and Walker will make a further
assessment of how things stand after training this evening
and the results of the second x-ray before making a
decision on his availabilty.
There is also a question mark over whether Andy Pugh
will be able to extend his loan with the club for a
further month and the club were awaiting a decision
from Gillingham as to whether he will be able to join
the squad on Saturday.
19th March 2008. 9.30pm
skipper Ben Lewis has acknowledged the team's improved
performance following a dramatic 2-1 win over Harlow
Town last weekend.
A 94th minute winner secured three vital points,
which moved the club out of the relegation zone. However
the league remains extremely tight and it will be a
fight to the finish.
Lewis said: "Last week I urged the team to step
up a gear and they came good. With the teams around
us winning, the league is on a knife-edge and we've
got to battle to the finish to stay in this league.
"The supporters were fantastic and the volume when
the winner went in, up until the final whistle, was
great. We need this level of encouragement over the
"The Chelmsford match this weekend will be a tough
test but we've got a point to prove after the away fixture.
We'll go into the match confident and determined to
show what we're capable of."
11th March 2008. 10.00pm
Maidstone United skipper Ben Lewis has urged his
team-mates to start showing their true mettle after
Saturdays 2-0 defeat by AFC Hornchurch.
The Stones are without a win in their last five games
and have slipped into the relegation zone.
Lewis told the MUFC website Its time where
we have to stand up and be counted, every player has
to go out on Saturday and prove his worth.
Weve got to show everyone that we are prepared
to fight for the cause and stay in this league. Its
getting tight, weve deserved criticism on occasions
this season and were all big enough to accept
Lewis added: Its up to us now as a team,
as players and as men to go out and sort this problem
11th March 2008. 9.30pm
It was the second England schoolboys game on Monday
evening. The team, which featured Chris Smalling and
Ashley Ulph, beat Northern Ireland Schoolboys 2-1.
Ashley's dad sent maidstoneunited.co.uk
a report of the day - so here's Bob's Blog...
torrential rain and gale force winds during the early
hours of Monday morning the game was in doubt and a
late afternoon pitch inspection at Mountview Park the
home of Irish Premier League club Glenavon was scheduled.
At 4.30pm news filtered through to the England supporters
gathered in various locations across Belfast that the
game had been moved to Cookstown which was some 65 miles
away! With no trains running to this part of Northern
Ireland and an estimated 2 3 hour bus journey
to get there a frantic rush was made to local car hire
companies as supporters joined forces to get to the
"Arriving at Cookstown just before kick off we
were greeted by a totally open sports centre ground
with no protection from the gales or torrent of rain
that hammered down throughout the match. Our two Maidstone
lads again started in their familiar positions with
Chris Smalling one of the three centre backs and Butch
Ulph lining up at Right wing back in a 3-5-2 formation.
"The very experienced Northern Ireland team were
made up players most of who had already turned out this
season for Irish Premier League clubs and for one player
who had even played in a European match for Linfield.
"The game was hard fought and with some good links
in defence between Butch and Chris. After just 10 minutes
into the game a clash of heads between Butch and an
Irish forward saw both players going doing with cuts
to the head and for Butch to be knocked out for a few
minutes. While the Irish player was taken off to hospital
for an ex ray, Butch was bandaged up and after exchanging
his blooded number 2 shirt with the number 20 substitute
player, Butch came back on and resumed play.
first half saw England take a 1 nil lead from a well
taken free kick. While half time couldnt come
quick enough for both players and spectators as the
rain lashed down, the weather got even worse as the
teams came out for the second period. Another set piece
saw Ireland draw level early in the second half from
an unstoppable free kick. Chris and Butch again linked
well in a solid England defence and several England
chances went just wide. Midway through the second half
Butch moved across to left wing back and made some good
forward runs and crosses into the box. Chris as usual
was as solid as ever in the back three of centre backs.
England were by now starting to gain the upper hand
and after another period of sustained pressure England
scored again from another free kick. The game ended
with England winning 2 1 in the first of the
four Centenary Shield International Matches.
"Back at the team hotel in Belfast, the England
doctor decided that Butch should have stitches put in
his head wound and much to the amusement of Chris who
was sharing a room with Butch, looked on as the doctor
proceeded to put in a couple of stitches without anaesthetic
as Butch bit on a towel and tried to look brave!
"The lads now have a couple of weeks break before
meeting up in Birmingham for a training weekend before
the next International match away to Wales. In the meantime
the England manager has now officially renamed Butch
7th March 2008. 7.30pm
Friday was another busy day behind the scenes at
Maidstone United as co-managers Alan Walker and Lloyd
Hume signed two further players to make it three new
signings for the week.
Mark Saunders joined the club on Thursday and Alan Walker was thrilled with the capture of the former Gillingham player saying:” I have been chasing Mark Saunders for years but he was committed to Folkestone. He will be a big player for us and he is a real catch.”
The Stones were also able to disclose that they had managed to sign 34 year old Ian Selley from Grays Athletic of the Blue Square Conference National. Selley made his name in the game with Arsenal and played 42 times for The Gunners including an appearance in the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final when Arsenal beat Parma of Italy 1-0 with a goal by Alan Smith. The hard working midfielder has also played for Fulham, Wimbledon, Southend United and Woking.
Late on Friday afternoon, central defender Marc Clearey was signed from Isthmian League Division 1 North side Tilbury. Recently with QPR, Clearey was released when the new Italian management consortium took control at Loftus Road. He has also spent some time this season at Brentford and began the campaign at Ilford. Alan Walker had watched Clearey following a recommendation during the week and invited the youngster to training on Thursday evening when he again impressed thus leading to him rapidly signing for Stones.
All three of this week’s new signings should be involved in this Saturday’s Premier Division fixture away to AFC Hornchurch.
Unfortunately though, Andy Pugh will not be available for the fixture after he strained a knee in training although it is hoped that he will be back in contention for a starting place next week.
Finally, commenting on the addition to the coaching staff of Clive Walker, Alan Walker said: “I have known Clive for twenty years and there is no doubting his knowledge of the game. At the moment, and for probably the next six months, I am unable to get as involved in taking the training sessions as I need to be so Clive will be able to help Lloyd out on the coaching side of things. Also, it means that Clive will be on the bench when Lloyd is suspended.”
6th March 2008. 9.00pm
Maidstone United have signed Mark Saunders from
Folkestone Invicta today.
The 36-year-old midfielder, who made
more than 200 appearances for Gillingham, is expected
to make his debut on Saturday against AFC Hornchurch.
There will be reaction to the signing on the Maidstone
United website tomorrow evening.
3rd March 2008. 1.30pm
Clive Walker has joined the Stones coaching staff to
assist joint managers Alan Walker and Lloyd Hume.
The experienced coach recently managed Dover Athletic
and Ashford Town. The Stones management duo have been
without coaching support since Jimmy Strouts left to
take on the joint managers role at Kent League side
Walker has managed the Stones previously. He was in
charge back in 1992 when he guided the club out of the
Division Four relegation zone but his reign ended when
the club went out of business that summer.