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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders says FA play-off appeal decision will give his players a boost

By Craig Tucker
Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Martin Apps
Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Martin Apps

Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders has called for a final push from his players after their play-off reprieve.

Stones' form dipped after the Ryman League ruled they wouldn't be able to compete in the play-offs given the Conference stance on 3G pitches.

They occupy the final play-off position in the Premier Division but have won only one of their last eight games.

And while Saunders believes the dip in results is coincidental, he believes his players will take heart from the FA's decision to uphold their appeal on Wednesday afternoon.

He said: "I just think our form dropped off because of injuries and suspensions but I'm sure the news will give the lads a boost.

"I dropped a text to all of them after the decision and the response was exactly as I expected.

"We've never given up hope and now it's important we get three points at Bury on Saturday.

"We haven't won away for a while and we need three points to get us going.

"It's a massive game, as is the League Cup final on Tuesday night.

"Concord were in danger of missing out on the play-offs last season, then they won the League Cup and went on a run that ended in promotion.

"We know teams around us have games in hand but a few of them have got to play each other and points will be dropped.

"All we can do is try and win our last five games and see where it takes us."

Ryman League chairman Alan Turvey has supported the FA's verdict.

He said: "The Ryman League is entirely satisfied with the decision and we support the policy of the Football Association towards artificial turf pitches.

"If Maidstone United go on to qualify for the play-offs and subsequently win promotion we sincerely hope that the Football Conference will consider this decision by the FA and its publicly stated support for artificial turf pitches and allow the club to play in the competition next season."

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