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Eastleigh 0 Maidstone United 1 match report

By Craig Tucker

A terrific Zavon Hines goal earned victory for Maidstone at Eastleigh.

Hines struck midway through the second half as United followed up Saturday’s victory over Woking with another win.

It was a thoroughly deserved result in an entertaining game and, if anything, Stones should have won by more.

Maidstone boss Jay Saunders. Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone boss Jay Saunders. Picture: Andy Jones

Maidstone made one change to the side who beat Woking on Saturday, with Jai Reason coming in for Johan ter Horst and facing his old club.

There was a good pace about the game early on, the ball zipping about on a wet pitch and play going end to end.

Eastleigh named new signing Gary McSheffrey in their side, a player once sold for £4million when he left Coventry for Birmingham, and while he may be getting on a bit now, he still has good feet and looked a threat cutting inside on his left peg.

He was at the centre of early confusion when he went down under challenge from Reece Prestedge, with referee Alan Young awarding a penalty.

The ball was on the spot when Young consulted his linesman and instead gave a free-kick on the edge of the box which McSheffrey wasted.

Maidstone probably had the chance of the half, Delano Sam-Yorke working space for a shot just inside the Eastleigh box but ex-Arsenal man Graham Stack got down well to his left to save.

Joe Pigott and Reason sent efforts wide while Magnus Okuonghae volleyed over after Reason’s corner was cleared to the edge of the box.

As bright as Eastleigh looked at times in the final third they flattered to deceive a little, reduced to a couple of harmless shots from distance as Stones defended well in a goalless first half.

Sam-Yorke’s evening was over six minutes into the second half.

Young decided he’d dived in the area and reached for the yellow card but, either way, he was hurt and hobbled off to be replaced by Johan ter Horst.

Ter Horst was soon involved, cutting in from the right and skimming the roof of the net with Stack worried.

Eastleigh went close on the hour, though, with McSheffrey playing in Matthews who bent his shot inches wide of the far post.

Hines hit the outside of the post with a magnificent strike from 20 yards midway through the half.

It turned out he was just getting his eye in because moments later, in the 69th minute, he smashed home from just inside the box to give Stones the lead.

Eastleigh made changes but Maidstone worked hard, were disciplined and kept the the hosts pretty quiet.

If anything United might have scored again when Stuart Lewis was sent through but he ran out of room to get a decent shot away, then Stack saved well from ter Horst and Pigott fired wide.

Another golden chance fell to ter Horst in injury time but Stack denied him again.

Maidstone: Worgan, Hare (Twumasi 72mins), Anderson, Okuonghae, Wynter, Prestedge, Lewis, Reason (Paxman 90mins), Sam-Yorke (ter Horst 51mins), Pigott, Hines. Subs not used: Finney, Richards.

Attendance: 1,820 (159 away).

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