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Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders calls for a big turnout for FA Trophy clash against Whitehawk

By Alex Hoad

Jay Saunders

By Craig Tucker

Jay Saunders has called for a full house at the Gallagher Stadium to help Maidstone cause an FA Trophy upset.

United take on second-placed Ryman League, Premier Division Whitehawk in the third qualifying round on Saturday.

Boss Saunders (pictured) makes the visitors favourites against his Ryman League, Division 1 South leaders but believes home advantage could swing the tie Maidstone’s way.

He said: "We were worthy winners at Margate in the first qualifying round, so we’ve shown we are capable of beating Premier Division teams but we definitely start underdogs against a side with a lot of good players.

"It will be tough but I’d like to think we can get close to 2,000 people in and, with the crowd behind us, we have a chance.

"We’ve done our homework on Whitehawk and had them watched a couple of times. As much as we want to nullify their strengths, we also have to think how we can hurt them by doing the things we’re good at. It’s all about what happens on the day."

The biggest decision facing the Stones boss is whether to start with leading scorer Paul Booth or restore in-form Ian Draycott to the team after leaving him out of the goalless draw at Crawley Down on Tuesday night.

Deren Ibrahim is set to continue in goal ahead of Charlie Mitten after back-to-back clean sheets, while Tim Olorunda is expected to keep Danny Lye out of the side in midfield.

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