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Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin on their 2-1 win over Oxford City

Hakan Hayrettin described Maidstone’s win over promotion rivals Oxford City as immense.

United moved seven points clear of the visitors with Saturday’s 2-1 victory at the Gallagher Stadium.

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

It was a fifth successive win for Hayrettin’s side and extended their unbeaten run in National South to 14 games.

The Stones remain three points behind leaders Dorking in second, while Oxford drop a place to fourth.

Regan Booty’s second-half dismissal saw Maidstone play the last 15 minutes a man down and City had Harvey Bradbury sent off at the death as tempers boiled over.

“I was trying to get the message across that we need to work hard to stop them as they’re a very good side,” said the boss.

“They’re very nippy, very clever in the way they play and the way they do things.

“It was a nervy end but a fantastic three points - immense.”

Joan Luque’s cracker and a Joe Ellul header put Maidstone in the driving seat but a mistake at the back was punished as Joe Iaciofano got Oxford back into the game.

It proved a rare chance for City, as sharp as they looked in possession at times, while Maidstone - in particular Christie Pattisson - had a number of decent openings.

Pattisson was named in the starting XI after Jack Barham was struck down by illness.

“Christie could have scored five today,” said Hayrettin.

“I decided to go with Christie because I didn’t want to change the way we play.

“He worked unbelievably hard, he got into some great positions, he just couldn’t take his chances but that will come for him.

“From not even being involved I’ve started him today which was a brave decision by me because I’ve got two centre-forwards on loan and I never used them.

“Everyone knows what I think of Mo Bettamer and everyone knows what I think of young Jimiel Chikukwa, but I made a decision not to change the way we play and go for Christie’s pace and he caused them a hell of a lot of problems.

“I was very proud of him today.

“We showed a lot of grit, a lot of determination, and I think we defended well in the second half.

“I don’t think our goalkeeper had a save to make. In fact he had no saves to make. That says it all.

“Their keeper did - he made four or five.

“We concede and it gets a bit nervy and the crowd go quiet and it’s up to us to get them up again but I’m very pleased with what happened.

“The gap between us and Oxford now is seven points and we’ve got a game in hand.

“We’ve ticked them off, every game is vitally important, we’ll take everything on its merits and today was a tough game.

“I’m pleased the football club have come away with three points.”

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