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Ebbsfleet United 2 Maidstone United 3 match report: Sam Corne scores twice as Stones end Fleet's winning run

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Sam Corne scored twice as Maidstone ended Ebbsfleet's winning streak in National League South on Tuesday night.

The result moved Maidstone up to third in the table, level on points with the Fleet who themselves missed the chance to go top.

Sam Corne scores the winner at Stonebridge Road Picture: Steve Terrell
Sam Corne scores the winner at Stonebridge Road Picture: Steve Terrell

The game started at a whirlwind pace, matched by goals at an equally ferocious rate.

Maidstone actually started the better of the two sides, Joan Luque and Christie Pattisson having early openings they were unable to take advantage of.

Ebbsfleet took the lead against the run of play on 10 minutes, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling working his way down the right and his cross deflecting off a defender to beat former Fleet keeper Tom Hadler in the Maidstone goal.

Within two minutes, Dominic Poleon held off Gavin Hoyte but fired his shot against the body of Hadler.

Within a minute, Maidstone were level. Luque had already served notice he was in the mood and he wasn’t going to waste a second opening, curling a delightful right-foot shot into the far corner before enjoying his celebration in front the home fans.

Ebbsfleet were back in front on 17 minutes when Rakish Bingham made space for himself against the defender and fired a right-foot shot into the far corner.

But the lead again lasted just three minutes. The impressive Luque attracted three defenders in the box and had the vision to play in Sam Corner, who worked space on his left foot to shoot beyond keeper Chris Haigh.

Bingham nearly restored Ebbsfleet’s advantage before the half-hour, turning brilliantly to make space for himself, only to drag his right-foot shot narrowly the wrong side of the upright.

Maidstone winger Jermaine McGlashan runs at Ebbsfleet defender Joe Martin Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone winger Jermaine McGlashan runs at Ebbsfleet defender Joe Martin Picture: Steve Terrell

Craig Tanner twice went close from distance just before the break but he was on the fringes of the game, having turned in a man-of-the-match display in Saturday’s derby demolition of Welling.

Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb warned that Maidstone would be a step up in class from the Wings, and so it proved.

Maidstone’s team were full of energy and endeavour, their high press unsettled the Fleet who never got their usual passing game going and resorted to either too many long balls or individuals taking too many touches.

The visitors lost the influential Michael Phillips to injury just before the hour but it didn’t seem to affect their flow.

They went ahead for the first time on 65 minutes. Roarie Deacon took his time to deliver a cross from the right but when it arrived, Corne had arrived unmarked at the far post to score his second of the evening from close range.

Fleet belatedly introduced Elliott Romain with just over 10 minutes remaining, Bingham dropping into a withdrawn role but Maidstone kept their high line and gave the hosts little room to work with.

It was not until the 88th minute that Hadler was forced into second-half action, turning over Adebayo-Rowling's shot while Romain's header from the resulting corner lacked sufficient power.

Ebbsfleet: Haigh, Chapman, Jombati (Kahraman 84mins), J Martin, Adebayo-Rowling, Egan (Paxman 58mins), Solly, Tanner (Romain 79mins), Cundle, Bingham, Poleon. Subs not used: Gould, Krasniqi.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Brown, Binnom-Williams, Deacon (McGlashan 71mins), Corne, Booty, Phillips (Odusanya 58mins), Luque (Grant 84mins), Pattisson. Subs not used: Mersin, Pavey.

Referee: Aji Ajibola.

Attendance: 1,624 (363 away)

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