Vaki’s match

Ex-Maidstone winger Vaki Antoniou exacted full retribution on his old club with four tries in Charlton Park’s win over the league’s bottom club at The Mote on Saturday. And for this, he wasn’t even given the man-of-the-match: that went to Mark Harlow-Singh for his tireless ball-carrying and solid midfield defence.

 

Nick skips

With club captain and vice-captain both missing, back row Nick Aston led the team for the first time and celebrated with two tries himself in a comprehensive victory.

Maidstone, however, gave a spirited performance which, considering their parlous league position and despite falling behind quickly, reflects great credit on their players and management. Their scrum and their ball carrying forwards posed a threat, particularly in the first half when Charlton’s defence needed to be on its mettle and sometimes wasn’t.

As the score suggests however, Park contained too much all-round fire power when they were able to get on the front foot and recycle, and the backs and supporting players took full advantage.  Halfbacks Lee Amzaleg and Rio Cooper moved the ball quickly and the young home backs were regularly outflanked by slick passing, although disappointingly this broke down when the team lost concentration after the game was won.

After their customarily sluggish start in which Jeremy Montes was forced off injured his replacement Rob Saunderson was quickly into the game and his burst created space for the backs to put Antoniou over for his first try, converted superbly from touch by Cooper.