MATCH PREVIEW: Maidstone United vs Chippenham Town, Sat 20th Nov 2021
Simon Lawrence previews our upcoming National League South game against Maidstone United
Following Saturday’s win against Billericay, Chippenham turn their attention to the road again as we seek to continue our unbeaten form away from The Thornbury Surfacing Stadium this season against very tough opponents in Hakan Hayrettin’s Maidstone United FC.
The performance against Billericay on Saturday was what the 600+ fans at Chippenham were really waiting for. Dominant in possession, good football, 3 fantastic goals and a clean sheet for the Bluebirds who faced a good amount of adversity in that quest with changes and an early injury forcing changes to a usually consistent area of the pitch. Ricky Aguiar was in the goals again and sent Chippenham on the way, before Dan Griffiths bagged his second goal in as many games to see the game safe. Chippenham added a third after a frantic goalmouth scramble worked it’s way in via a Billericay defender to compound the misery for the visitors and send the home crowd behind the goal into ecstasy, celebrating wildly with players as they leapt into the adoring home support.
Away from home, Chippenham are showing no signs of the side that has just picked up their first home win since September. Chippenham are currently undefeated on the road (a feat only Dulwich and Oxford have achieved this season) and currently have 2 wins and 5 draws from the 7 games played away from home. Maidstone however will prove no easy task. A huge side for the level with daunting crowds of around 1,800 packing the Gallagher most weekends they are the envy of a lot of sides in the National League South.
They aren’t without their famous faces as well. The evergreen George Elokobi at 35 years of age is still as commanding at the back as he has ever been. One of the more famous National League South players with his time at Wolverhampton in the Premier League only 10 short years ago! Also the 7 goal midfielder from Spain, Joan Luque will prove a difficult man to keep quiet.
Despite their size and stature however, they come into the game on a dreadful run of form which has seen the Stones only pick up 2 points in October and November with the last time the Stones tasting victory being September 25th at Twerton Park in a 3-0 win over Bath City.
Like Chippenham, Maidstone have found their own ground a very unhappy place with 4 defeats to Slough, Dorking, Eastbourne and Dartford with the home crowd not seeing their team score a goal at home since a 2-2 draw with Concord on September 11th!
Chippenham therefore will be excited by the prospect of playing Maidstone at the Gallagher with our away form being so good and Maidstone’s home form being so poor however, games are not won on paper, and we will have to be at our very best to take anything from the fixture.
After Saturday, Chippenham will need to assess the fitness of Spencer Hamilton who took a heavy blow to the head and missed the rest of the game but he’s a tough lad and many expect to see Spencer make the trip to Kent this weekend.
One however that will certainly miss out is Zain Walker. Zain made his debut on Saturday following his loan move from Bristol Rovers and looked lively until a muscle injury saw him withdrawn from the game on 30 minutes and it is highly unlikely the young winger will feature for a good few weeks minimum. Alex Bray, however, could well see himself return to fitness after making the bench against Dartford and training through the week, his return to the side could come at Maidstone should manager Mike Cook see fit to deploy the versatile wide man.
Please be aware for those that are unable to make the trip, you are able to join us for the action Live from our BlueArmy Radio team on Mixlr with Simon Lawrence and Jamie Oleszynski providing full commentary throughout. You will also be able to interact with us on Twitter and all other Social Platforms and it would be brilliant to have as many of you as possible tune in as we seek the points that will see us leapfrog our opponents and with results in our favour could see us ascend into the playoff spots once more.
COME ON YOU BLUES!!