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Ben Greenhalgh leaves Maidstone United for the third time

By Craig Tucker

Ben Greenhalgh’s third spell at Maidstone is over - but he’s glad he came back.

Greenhalgh has signed for Hemel Hempstead after finishing the season on loan with the National South club.

The forward returned to Maidstone last summer after a terrific year at Concord, with manager Jay Saunders believing his game would be suited to National League football.

Ben Greenhalgh celebrates his goal against Wrexham Picture: John Westhrop

He was a regular in the No.10 role early on, scoring at Chester as Maidstone claimed their first win, followed by a free-kick against Wrexham.

But as United’s form slipped Greenhalgh was dropped and after spending time on the bench he was made available for loan.

His time at the Gallagher is up again but he has no regrets.

Greenhalgh said: “Jay brought me back to play, which I did, and we started the season pretty well.

“I felt I made the No.10 position my own but we got into a rut as a team and it was obviously a difficult period for Jay because it was our first year in the National League Premier and we weren’t picking up the results we needed.

“He had to make changes and from the outside he’s got that team right towards the end of the season.

Ben Greenhalgh takes on the York defence in the first game of the season Picture: Martin Apps

“I still felt I could have done a job, you’ve got to have the confidence to believe that, but obviously Jay had decisions to make and I understand that.

“For me, it was still worth going back in terms of the experience of playing in all those big games.

“I think back to Tranmere, there were 5,500 fans in a massive stadium and at one point all I could hear were our fans chanting my name.

“The fans were outstanding. They outsung everyone bar maybe Lincoln but that was a big old ask with the crowd they had.”

Greenhalgh rejected the chance to return to his old club Welling in favour of signing for Hemel.

Ben Greenhalgh in action against Forest Green Picture: Andy Jones

He was contacted by former Stones team-mate Jamie Coyle, who has taken charge at the Wings, but the Hemel deal was almost done.

Greenhalgh said: “Coyley did give me a call but it was difficult because I’d half-agreed to Hemel already.

“It was a difficult decision because I have history at Welling and I know the fans there.

“It might happen in the future but I want to have a good season at Hemel.

“It’s a good club and they want to have a go at promotion.”

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