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Boss Jay Saunders wants to make Maidstone a tough nut to crack again

By Craig Tucker

It’s back to the reality of National League football for Maidstone - and boss Jay Saunders is determined to rectify his side's defensive problems.

After the glamour of Stadium MK in the FA Cup, they’re off to the more modest surroundings of Maidenhead’s York Road.

But Saturday’s match is more important in the scheme of things, with boss Jay Saunders determined to fix his defence after leaking 12 goals in their last three games.

Stones boss Jay Saunders Picture Ady Kerry

Stones boss Jay Saunders Picture: Ady Kerry

Saunders said: “We’ve mentally got to get right. It’s lovely coming to play at MK Dons but Maidenhead’s certainly a different kettle of fish.

“Alan Devonshire has got them well organised and they’ve had a good first half of the season.

“Two weeks ago we were flying and all of a sudden you have three defeats and you get down easily, so we’ve got to work out what the problems are.”

Stones are 10th following back-to-back 4-0 defeats, three points clear of Devonshire’s 14th-placed Magpies.

They conceded four for the third match running at Milton Keynes and while Saunders can forgive that against League 1 opposition, he wants to get back to being hard to beat.

He said: “You can sort of count MK Dons out because you are playing a team two leagues
above so you expect them to create chances but conceding 12 goals in the last three games is a worry.

“Alex Wynter and Alex Finney I think had three or four clean sheets on the bounce and we’ve now conceded 12 in three.”

Jack Paxman is back from a loan spell at East Thurrock while Aaron Collins, who’s joined on a month’s loan from Championship leaders Wolves, is pushing for a league debut after a substitute appearance at MK Dons.

Saunders said: “Aaron will do well for us. He’s a natural right-sider and we haven’t had someone who naturally plays that position and will go past people.”

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