Published: 16:45, 13 January 2018
Darius Osei scored on his first start as Maidstone beat Heybridge in the FA Trophy.
Osei added to Jamar Loza’s opener as United dominated but Swifts - the lowest-ranked side in the competition - set up an interesting finish when Juan Luque replied in the last 10 minutes.
Joe Pigott, named on the bench amid interest from AFC Wimbledon, made what could be his farewell appearance as a late substitute.
Maidstone, as expected, enjoyed all the early possession against a Heybridge side who got plenty of men behind the ball.
The Stones had a couple of efforts drom distance, Delano Sam-Yorke and Jai Reason seeing efforts comfortably held as Swifts made themselves hard to break down.
Heybridge actually missed a reasonable chance to open the scoring when the ball broke to Lewis Godbold from Lewis Dark’s blocked shot but he fired over.
They were punished soon after as Maidstone took a 28th-minute lead in controversial circumstances with Jai Reason’s cross evading Sam-Yorke and dropping to Loza who appeared to handle before finishing.
Heybridge protested furiously and convinced referee Alan Dale to speak to his linesman but the goal stood.
Juan Luque went close with a free-kick soon after but Swifts looked like they were struggling to clear their heads with Maidstone comfortably on top and beginning to carve out more chances.
Lewis went close from the edge of the box and Alex Wynter headed wide before United doubled their lead in the 43rd minute.
Joe Anderson’s corner to the far post was headed back across goal and there was Osei to nod home on his first start.
Loza had a chance to finish the tie from Osei’s pass but Sambridge saved while the half-time whistle brought more protests from Heybridge players over that opening goal.
Early in the second half Sam-Yorke’s header was tipped over after Osei combined with Paxman and stood up a cross.
Another Osei ball was chested over by Sam-Yorke as Maidstone once again got in behind a defence who were starting to tire and just past the hour Osei’s curler missed the top corner by inches.
Osei brought as good save from Sambridge before Worgan tipped over a well-hit volley from substitute Harrison Chatting at the other end.
There was hope for Heybridge nine minutes from time when a long throw was cleared only to the edge of the box with Luque belting home.
Maidstone: Worgan, Twumasi, Hare, Wynter, Anderson, Loza (Pigott 85mins), Lewis, Reason, Wraight (Paxman 25mins), Osei (ter Horst 82mins), Sam-Yorke. Subs not used: Okuonghae, Muldoon.
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