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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders on 1-0 win at Eastleigh

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone manager Jay Saunders felt his side's win at Eastleigh showed the progress the club have made.

Stones were outclassed in a 3-0 defeat at the Silverlake Stadium almost a year ago but were a different proposition in Hampshire on Tuesday night.

They more than matched a strong Eastleigh team who are expected to challenge for promotion, winning 1-0 with Zavon Hines' excellent second-half strike.

Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton
Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton

The swirling wind and rain made life challenging but United handled the conditions well.

Saunders said: "I thought we were outstanding from the first minute to the last.

"That's a great performance and I'm really pleased.

"We were outclassed here last year. I won't hide from the fact.

"I remember going away saying they're the best team we've played this season.

"No disrespect to anyone who was here at the time but I said to Nicky Southall just as we kicked off tonight that I feel a lot more confident coming here because it looked like we had some men around the team and more experience.

"That was hard first half when that wind started coming in, we had to dig in and I thought we defended excellently and looked a threat on the break.

"It's a tough place to come, even on a Saturday, so to come here on a Tuesday night with conditions like this, with the experienced squad they've got, I thought we were outstanding.

"You look at their side, it's all ex-league players.

"There's good players but we've come here and I never felt really threatened which is a big compliment to us because it means we're doing something right."

Saunders confirmed that Delano Sam-Yorke had suffered a hamstring injury when he went down in the box during the second half, only to be booked for diving.

Stones also lost Josh Hare to a groin problem late in the game.

Read the match report from Maidstone's 1-0 win at Eastleigh

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