Aveley knocked out of playoffs by Maidstone United after amazing season

By Ethan Crafter

24th Apr 2024 | Football

Aveley's season has come to an end
Aveley's season has come to an end

Maidstone United 2, Aveley 1 

AVELEY are out of the Vanarama National League South playoffs after losing two-one to Maidstone United. 

Wednesday's (24 April) match at The Gallagher Stadium saw Aveley take a first half lead in the playoff eliminator, but Maidstone's second half pressure was too much for the Millers to handle. 

Early in the game Aveley keeper Jonathan North was called into action on multiple occasions and pulled off some outrageous saves. None better than in the 17th minute when he kept out Matt Rush's hard strike which was from five yards away from goal.

The home side were having the better of it in the first half, at least until Manny Ogunrinde sent Aveley one goal up after 27 minutes. Eduino Vaz crossed to the back post from the left-hand side just outside the penalty area and Ogunrinde got the final touch to bundle the ball home.

Millers almost doubled their lead seven minutes later as Ryan Carr delivered an in-swinging corner from the left and it nearly went in. Maidstone keeper Lucas Covolan claimed the ball at the back post with some difficulty.

Aveley were happy to sit back and encourage pressure towards the ends of the first half. Maidstone had no clearcut chances and Millers went into the dressing room with a narrow one goal lead. Aveley manager Danny Scopes would've been quite happy this his team's first half performance.

The turning point in the game was when Muhammadu Faal came on in the 61st minute. Just one minute later he connected with a long ball into the box, heading down to Rush who finished from very close range. Rush started this season with Aveley before leaving in early November.

After the equalising goal Millers were soaking up pressure and it almost seemed like a matter of time before Maidstone scored a winner.

That winner did come in the second minute of injury time as Rush returned the favour to Faal. Rush controlled the ball well and drove to the edge of the box where he passed it off to Faal who squeezed the ball low under North.

A gutting way to end an amazing Aveley season. Millers fans have a lot to be proud of this season as their team defied expectations after being one of the favourites to be relegated.

After the game @AveleyFC posted on X, "THANK YOU MILLERS. Our first ever season at this level after back-to-back promotions ends in defeat in the Play-Offs. An amazing achievement and season from everyone involved at our club. We'll be back next season 


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