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Maidstone United defender Raphe Brown believes FA Trophy performance at Boreham Wood will help promotion bid


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Raphe Brown believes Maidstone will only benefit from their FA Trophy experience at Boreham Wood.

The Stones lost 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s fourth-round tie but looked the part against a Wood side fighting for a place in the Football League.

Maidstone United defender Raphe Brown Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United defender Raphe Brown Picture: Steve Terrell

They can take confidence from the performance at Meadow Park as they continue their own promotion bid in National South.

“I think the boys were really good, against a very strong National League side,” said defender Brown.

“We held our own and were unlucky to go out on penalties.

“I’m proud of the boys and what we did.

“The main difference compared to teams in our league was how solid they were defensively.

“It was very hard to break them down but we still had some good chances to win the game.

“That’s where we want to be, that’s where we’re pushing towards.

“If we carry that on in the league there’s no reason why we shouldn’t dominate our league and get into their league.

“It was a good learning curve for us and I think we’ll be just fine, if we play like that each week.

Jack Barham up against giant defender David Stephens in Maidstone's FA Trophy tie at Boreham Wood Picture: Steve Terrell
Jack Barham up against giant defender David Stephens in Maidstone's FA Trophy tie at Boreham Wood Picture: Steve Terrell

“If you out-run the other team, out-work the other team, you should get a result at the end of the day.

“That’s what we’ve been aiming to do and in training and in games we’re hitting good benchmarks and keeping up our levels and it’s showing in the results we’re getting.”

Brown is in just his second season of National South football since signing for Maidstone from Isthmian League Herne Bay.

He’s looked at home, impressing wherever manager Hakan Hayrettin has employed him in the backline.

“I’ve settled into the club brilliantly,” he said. “I’ve played everywhere, right-back, left-back, centre-back, and I enjoy playing all the positions.

“My best position isn’t a chat we’ve had yet.

“It’s one we should have but I’m just enjoying playing and being in the squad. That’s the main thing for my progression and I want that to continue.”

Brown has operated mainly at left-back, which means playing behind leading scorer Joan Luque.

Joe Ellul battles with Josh Rees at Boreham Wood last weekend Picture: Steve Terrell
Joe Ellul battles with Josh Rees at Boreham Wood last weekend Picture: Steve Terrell

The youngster is happy to take on extra defensive responsibilities if it means keeping Luque higher up the pitch, where the Spaniard can work his magic.

“It can be good and bad, playing with Luque,” said Brown.

“You’ve got to bomb on and look after him but he doesn’t like to pass, so that’s one thing.

“They’ve stressed to me to make sure he doesn’t come too deep and make sure I’m doing the bits he should be doing.

“That’s what I try to do and then get round and help him when I can.

“It’s down to me to say get up, don’t get too deep, we need you scoring our goals.

“I’ve not seen anyone better than him in the league.

“Scoring goals, assists, he’s bang on and his work rate has been magnificent. Long may it continue.”

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