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Gillingham midfielder Jake Hessenthaler would welcome being drawn against Maidstone United in the FA Cup

By Matthew Panting

Midfielder Jake Hessenthaler would love to land a plum FA Cup derby against Maidstone in the second round.

Both teams will be in Monday evening's draw after winning their first round ties at the weekend.

It’s been 25 years since the clubs met in a competitive fixture and Hessenthaler would relish the chance to come up against Jay Saunders’ Stones.

Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler on the ball against Leyton Orient. Picture Andy Jones

Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler on the ball against Leyton Orient. Picture: Andy Jones

“There’s no-one really big in it until the next round,” said Hessenthaler, with Premier League sides entering the competition in the third round.

“Maidstone have won (at Cheltenham) and obviously that’s a rivalry. I’ve never played against them so I’m hoping for someone like that personally.

“It would be tasty I think – if it wasn’t then the fans would be on us!

“I’ve never got through to the second round before. My only highlight was scoring but we still got beat so it wasn’t much of a highlight.

“It was a big deal for me personally to get through to the second round. You never know, it’s the FA Cup. Hopefully we can get a good draw and if we get through that one we might get a big boy.”

Hessenthaler was named man-of-the-match as Gills overcame Orient 2-1 at Priestfield on Saturday.

“I think overall on the first half performance we deserved the win,” said the 23-year-old midfielder.

“Second half they made it really hard for us. They made it into a battle at the end, they were quite physical, but we were professional and we matched them.

“We deserved to go in more than one up. We created a lot of well-worked chances, you can’t always take them all but as long as you get the result at the end of it then that’s the main thing.

“They changed their formation, they went to a diamond. It was working for them and we had to change our shape and we worked our way back into the game and got the second goal.”

Visit www.kentonline.co.uk/sport for details of Monday's FA Cup second round draw for Gillingham and Maidstone.

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