SAUNDERS GUTTED AS THEY BLOW RARE LEAD
THERE was more misery for Maidstone United as two late goals from Tranmere turned this match on its head to extend the Stones’ winless streak in the league to 17 games.
Up until the 85th minute, Maidstone were in control of this match and understandably Stones boss Jay Saunders was left gutted by the result.
He told The NLP: “There wasn’t a lot wrong today, but all three goals we conceded were poor.
“I don’t know what to say really, but we just have to keep going.”
Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon was pleased with his side’s resilience. “I am delighted we got the three points,” he said. “It was important to bounce back. I could comb over what didn’t go well today but the one thing you can’t question is the side’s character.”
The Stones had a decent opportunity to take an early lead.
On seven minutes, Adam Buxton accidentally headed the ball into the path of Delano Sam-Yorke, but he put his half-volley wide of the target.
Then, with 28 minutes gone, Maidstone edged in front. Jack Paxman was fouled and Jai Reason put the ball into the box.
A cluster of Stones players went for the ball and it was Ross Lafayette’s header that came back off the bar and Alex Finney reacted quickest to ensure the ball crossed the line.
But unfortunately for the Stones, a defensive error was once again to prove costly.
Maidstone failed to deal with a routine ball into the box leaving Andy Cook with the simple task of scoring from close range. However, the Stones quickly bounced back from this setback. Blair Turgott did well to surge into the box, where he was tripped by Buxton. Lafayette assumed responsibility for the penalty and he rolled it into the left side of the net. There was very little in the way of goalmouth action in a quiet second half until the 85th minute when Maidstone were unlucky to concede an equaliser. Dunne put the ball into the box and the unfortunate Alex Finney turned it past Worgan. And things were to get even worse for the Stones three minutes later. Finney went through Connor Jennings in the area and the referee, David Rock, pointed straight to the spot, leaving Buxton to fire the ball past Worgan to give Rovers all three points.
ROVERS RETURN: Teammates swamp Tranmere defender Adam Buxton after his goal from the spot claimed victory for the visitors