Maidstone United manager Harry Wheeler has urged his side to stay focused when they host Leyton Orient in the 4th Qualifying Round FA Cup. The Stones were holding their own against AFC Fylde last weekend until they conceded from a corner in the second half and Wheeler is asking for his side to maintain concentration on Saturday. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “it shouldn’t be difficult to concentrate, we train regularly enough. I fully believe we’ve got a great chance if we get ourselves right”
- Sit 20th in National League
- Two wins in last five games
Defeat to Fylde was Maidstone’s third under Harry Wheeler’s reign and came courtesy of Neil Byrne and Arlen Birch’s goals in the second half. Wheeler’s side hit the post and were pushing for the opener before conceding. The 30 year old stated to maidstoneunited.co.uk “the performance up to 68 minutes was fantastic, I thought the least we would go away with was a point. We had chance after chance, they had one, we had seven. We were in control of the game and then the boys let themselves down”
- Home Record (This Season) – P8 W1 D2 L5 F5 A10
- No win in last five – D1 L4
- Last win 1-0 vs Barrow, 18/08/2018
- Only won two of their last 12 home games – W2 D4 L6
- Only won one of the last four home FA Cup games
It was the second consecutive game Maidstone conceded from a set piece and Wheeler was adamant that his side need to step up and stay switched on. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “everyone makes mistakes, that’s fine but when it’s down to concentration, that’s the most disappointing thing. We’re in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and we are going to work hard and do everything we can to get a positive result and go through”
- Kept just three clean sheets this season
- No clean sheet in last three and just two in their last 11 games
- No clean sheet in last nine FA Cup games (last 2-0 win vs Dunstable 2015)
- Just one in last 13 FA Cup games
Wheeler is settling into life at the Gallagher Stadium and is shaping the personnel he wants. Jack Powell, Simon Walton and Elliot Romain have all been brought in since he arrived in September after Jay Saunders was sacked. Despite defeat at Fylde, Wheeler was encourage by the impact of his new recruits, “Powell made a difference, our structure was good, matching a side who were third favourites to win the league. We looked good but they need to stay focused. We are in transition”.
- Failed to score in seven games this season
- Failed in their last two games
- Scored in just one of their last four home games
- Only Scored 11 goals in 16 games
- Only scored more than one goal in a game twice this season
Midfielder Michael Phillips has relished the extra competition and knows that it is up to them to prove whey they should be starting. Phillips started in Orient’s 2-1 win at the Gallagher Stadium in August and the 21 year old is finally hoping his side can pick up a victory over the O’s. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “last time we played them I felt we dominated. We let in a bad goal and everything dropped in the stadium. They are obviously a big club and a big threat. I think we can match them or even better them”.
Maidstone have progressed to the First Round Proper in each of the last four seasons and Wheeler is hoping that record continues when Orient visit tomorrow. Speaking to kentonline.co.uk “it’s an important cup for us, we’ll give it everything we’ve got. I’ve always had a good record in cups and hopefully we can bring that here and continue because Maidstone have had a good record too”.
New signing Elliott Romain is available after joining from Dagenham & Redbridge on Friday while midfielder Jack Powell is set for his home debut after joining from Ebbsfleet; Simon Walton is set to continue in midfield. Striker Joe Quigley moved to Bromley on Thursday while midfielder Michael Phillips is hoping for a start. Captain Blair Turgott will be hoping to add to his eight goals against his old club.
Head to Head – Maidstone 0, Draw 1, Leyton Orient 4
- Maidstone have only scored one goal in last three meetings
Last Time Out – 0-2 loss at AFC Fylde
Prediction – Maidstone 1-3 Leyton Orient