The Non-League Football Paper


- By Ruth Pettifor

MAIDSTONE United’s relegation back to Step 2 was confirmed after this home humbling by play-off chasing Boreham Wood.

Two goals from Dennon Lewis – including the opener after just 53 seconds – helped Wood to a comfortabl­e win, while extending the Stones’ winless streak to 20 matches.

It ensures new boss George Elokobi can focus his attentions solely on an immediate return to the top-flight having taken over duties permanentl­y following the January dismissal of Hakan Hayrettin, who had lead Maidstone to the National League South title last season.

But it’s now 14 without a win for the former Wolves defender, who has a big job to do in the summer to turn around fortunes at the Gallagher Stadium.

Wood, primely positioned for a playoff spot, went for the jugular and took just 53 seconds to open the scoring – Zak Brunt slippeing the ball through to Lewis who calmly finished into the left side of the net.

Matters got worse for Maidstone on ten minutes. Tyrone Marsh found himself bearing down on Yusuf Mersin and although Mersin got a hand to Marsh’s chip he couldn’t stop Wood doubling their lead.

Wood continued to carve out opportunit­ies and four minutes before the break, a combinatio­n of Bivesh Gurung and Mersin did well to deny Lewis after he had got on the end of a flicked header from Marsh.

On 57 minutes, the visitors scored again. Lewis put over a delightful cross to the back post where George Broadbent stuck out a leg to get it over the line, despite Dom Odusanya’s best efforts.

Four minutes later, the Wood added their fourth. Maidstone had a free-kick claimed by keeper Nathan Ashmore. He moved the ball out quickly and Brunt put Lewis in on goal who calmly finished past the stranded Mersin.

It wasn’t until the 84th minute that Maidstone tested Ashmore in the Wood goal. Some neat play between Roarie Deacon and Mark Marshall ended with Ryan Viggars hitting a low shot which Ashmore got down smartly to turn behind for a corner.

Soon after, Odusanya called Ashmore into action with a drive that looked destined for the net but that was to be the closest Maidstone came and with their 27th defeat of the season, relegation was confirmed.

Wood boss Luke Garrard said: “We got a clean sheet away from home, that’s 14 for the season. Maidstone concede a lot of goals from balls into their box – we worked on it yesterday.

“They played a really high line and when you have got Dennon Lewis who is that is quick, all we had to do is punt a little ball behind them and he got on the end of it. I am very happy that we got four goals on the board.”

STAR MAN: Dennon Lewis (Boreham Wood) ATT: 1,774 ENTERTAINM­ENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Wayne Cartmel

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