On a cold, windy Saturday afternoon Maidstone United entered the onto the worn, tired Braintree Town pitch to battle for valuable points in the National league.
The Braintree Town fans were outnumbered by the travelling Stones fans, who were in tremendous voice and in good spirits.
The Stones started with the same eleven that won against Chester, with plenty of options on the bench if Jay Saunders needed them.
The match was a scrappy affair, with both sides testing each other with long balls and set plays.
Both defences played well as neither side was going to let the other into this match. Braintree went for a physical approach and looked to stop the Stones playing their passing game. The pitch was narrow and much of the play was through the centre of the park in the first half.
The referee was very card happy and prevented the game from reaching a decent tempo and being a flowing affair.
The defence for the Stones was working hard, Kevin Lokko shining once again at the centre of the defence. The midfield duo of Reece Prestedge and Stuart Lewis working tirelessly and Delano Sam-Yorke the main threat up front
Late second half saw the introduction of Yemi Odubade for Joe Pigott as Jay looked to change his fortunes in front of goal.
Jack Paxman whilst you could not fault his work rate it was not the right type of a game for a player used to keeping the ball on the deck. It was not surprising after receiving a yellow card late in the game that he was substituted for Jamar Loza. There would be other games for this attacking midfielder and Loza offered width.
Both Yemi and Loza added some sparkle and invention as Maidstone United pushed for victory but it was not meant to be.
There were several positive aspects that can be taken from today’s game a clean sheet, another solid team performance and a crucial point.
So, with twelve games remaining the Stones are well and truly in this battle to stay in the National league, will we defy the bookies prediction and stay up?
Final Score : Braintree 0 – 0 Maidstone United