Published: 05:00, 26 January 2022
Hakan Hayrettin saw Maidstone players follow instructions to the letter in their big derby win over Ebbsfleet.
The Stones beat their National South promotion rivals 4-0 at the Gallagher on Tuesday night.
Joan Luque’s early penalty gave them a dream start and they took the game away from Fleet with three goals in nine second-half minutes, from George Fowler and Sam Corne (2).
Boss Hayrettin said his side would be ready and they didn’t disappoint, completing the double over Dennis Kutrieb’s men in front of a crowd of 3,001.
“For me, it was all about our work rate, people breaking their necks to get into the box, people pushing to close them down,” said Hayrettin.
“They play to a system which is difficult and if you don’t have the players capable of stopping them, you’re going to come unstuck.
“They’re a very good team but in the second half we took our chances, we played a high tempo and we could have had a couple more goals.
"We had to go about our business professionally and we spoke about this, don’t play the occasion, play the game, and in the second half we played the game to a T.
"Everyone was absolutely fantastic.
“To score four goals against a very good Ebbsfleet team is a great achievement.
“And I think we’ve only let in 19 goals all season, the least amount of all the clubs.
“We stuck to the plan, we know how they play, we watched them play, we’ve worked on it. We’ve told the players this is what to expect, we did it at their place, we did it at our place.”
Maidstone had goalkeeper Tom Hadler sent off in the aftermath of the incident that saw Fleet defender Sefa Kahraman dismissed.
That was the only sour note for Hayrettin, who felt Hadler was hard done by.
But he wasn’t about to dwell on that after Maidstone moved three points behind leaders Dorking going into this Saturday’s trip to Concord.
“We concentrate on our next game now, which is Concord,” said the Stones boss.
“That’s not going to be easy, every game is going to be tough at this level and I’ve said this and I’ll say it again, this is probably the toughest league I’ve been involved in for many, many years.
“We need to focus, keep the boys disciplined, the staff are working really hard to keep their feet on the ground and hopefully we can achieve something.
“We aren’t going to do anything after beating Ebbsfleet 4-0, we know that, but we’ve got to continue turning the screw on teams like this and for me the pleasing thing is we picked the pace up in the second half, like we do in all games.”