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Eastbourne Borough 2 Maidstone United 3 match report

Scott Rendell’s second-half header settled a lively game as Maidstone won at Eastbourne.

Charlie Seaman and Joan Luque struck as the Stones came from a goal down to lead.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard

Eastbourne levelled before the break but Rendell earned a first National South win in six matches for the visitors.

Maidstone made two changes to the side beaten at Hungerford on Saturday, with Zihni Temelci and Joan Luque in for Kreshnic Krasniqi and Justin Amaluzor.

Eastbourne hadn’t played since December 15 but showed no sign of rustiness in a fast start that saw them get after Hakan Hayrettin’s men.

United struggled to get hold of the ball and trailed after just four minutes when Joel Rollinson came in from the right and clipped the ball over Chris Lewington’s head from around the edge of the box.

Maidstone responded well and levelled in the 11th minute.

Noah Chesmain was the provider with a cross from the left and Seaman’s half-volley into the ground beat Franco Ravizzoli for his fifth goal of the season.

A brilliant team goal saw Maidstone get their noses in front three minutes later, going from one end of the pitch to the other in a matter of seconds.

It started with Temelci impressively wriggling his way out of danger and playing the ball down the line to George Porter.

He moved infield and fed Sam Corne, who played the ball out wide to Seaman, whose cross was met by Porter.

Ravizzoli denied Porter but Luque gobbled up the rebound.

Maidstone looked comfortable for a spell but Eastbourne levelled in the 28th minute through Gillingham old boy Chris Whelpdale.

It came down the right with Charley Kendall beating Chesmain to the ball and playing over a cross which Whelpdale converted at the back post.

Moments later, another cross from the right, this time from Rollinson, saw Whepdale hit the post.

That was one cross too many for the Stones management, who withdrew Chesmain, moving Hoyte to left-back and Seaman to right-back in a defensive reshuffle.

Corne fired wide and Joe Ellul had a chance from a corner towards the end of the half, while Lewington held Whelpdale’s strike from outside the box.

Maidstone went back in front two minutes into the second half.

Seaman heard Porter’s call to leave the loose ball and the Stones forward worked his way up the line before swinging over a lovely cross to the back stick for Rendell to nod in.

There was a steel about Maidstone, backed up by plenty of talking, to deny Eastbourne another equaliser.

The effort was there all over the pitch and Maidstone might have had a fourth when Temelci passed up a chance to shoot and instead found Porter, whose shot was blocked.

A late chance fell to Amaluzor from Hoyte’s cross but he had more time than he realised and a first-time strike went wide.

He was in again soon after, working space for a shot, but it went out for a corner.

Maidstone: Lewington, Hoyte, Ellul, Elokobi, Chesmain (Amaluzor 37mins), Corne, Temelci, Luque, Porter (Krasniqi 82mins), Seaman, Rendell. Subs not used: Olutade, Constable, Khan.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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