ALEX’S GOT SOME-FINN SPECIAL AT THE DEATH
ALEX FINNEY’S dramatic 95th-minute winner spelt heartache for Chester and propelled plucky Maidstone United into the National League play-off places.
Centre-back Finney rifled home from Jai Reason’s corner to spark joyous scenes at the Gallagher Stadium and end a match which both managers felt they deserved to win.
“I didn’t think the breakthrough was going to come,” admitted Stones chief Jay Saunders. “Over the 90 minutes we were the better side and deserved the win.
“We went for it at the end with four forwards on the pitch and funnily enough it was a centre half who got the goal.”
Until the last-gasp winner, the visitors had looked destined for a point thanks to a well-organised defensive display. No wonder manager Marcus Bignot was left deflated afterwards.
“Anyone would be pleased to come here and put in a performance like that,” he added. “I thought we had done enough to get a point.”
In truth, it was Maidstone who looked the stronger of the two sides throughout, almost opening the scoring in the early exchanges.
Seth Nana Twumasi fed Zavon Hines who cut inside before smashing a goalbound effort which Chester keeper Alex Lynch did well to push wide.
Chester then started to get a foothold in the game and they nearly capitalised on a defensive error.
Keeper Lee Worgan came to claim the ball but he accidentally spilled it outside of his area. The ball broke to Jordan Archer 20 yards from goal but Alex Wynter managed to make an important block. Then three minutes before the break, Maidstone came within inches of going ahead when a Hines free-kick found its way to Stuart Lewis, whose deflected low drive ricocheted off the right hand post before being gathered by Lynch. The game continued in a similar vein after the break with the Stones looking the more likely to score until four minutes into stoppage time. Lucas Dawson’s free-kick into the area was met by John McCombe and his header only just missed the target. But with the referee’s whistle imminent, Reason’s corner came out to Finney, who showed composure to rifle through a crowded box and beyond the stranded Lynch.