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Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin says they were better than Boreham Wood after FA Trophy penalty shoot-out exit


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Proud boss Hakan Hayrettin felt Maidstone were the better side in their FA Trophy exit at Boreham Wood.

Wood, third in the National League and unbeaten since October, upset League 1 AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup last weekend.

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

But they needed penalties to scrape past National South Maidstone in the FA Trophy fourth round, winning the shoot-out 5-4 following a 1-1 draw.

Wood led through Tyrone Marsh’s early penalty but Maidstone grew into the tie and were good value for Michael Phillips’ second-half equaliser, with the tie going straight to penalties after 90 minutes.

“To a man, they worked their socks off and we got stronger as the game went on,” said Hayrettin.

“I think the first 10/15 minutes was self-inflicted by some of our play down our left-hand side, we gave away a penalty because we didn’t do what was asked.

“After that I think we competed and as the game went on we got stronger and stronger and I think we were better than them.

“We got our goal and we should have had another two after that. We didn’t take our chances.

“Saying that, we’ve made a mistake up the other end in the last minute and Scott Boden hits it over but it was a good performance.

“I think they’ve kept 16 clean sheets, we’ve come here and scored and could have had a couple more but that’s the standard now.

“I’ve told them that’s the benchmark now, you need to put in those performances, week in, week out.

“If you look overall at the 90 minutes I thought we were the better team and deserved to win.”

Hayrettin’s only complaint was that Maidstone didn’t put the tie to bed after Phillips’ equaliser.

They pushed hard, with Regan Booty going close and Sam Corne skying a big chance before a let-off deep into added time when Josh Rees and then Boden missed the target from Marsh’s cross.

“For a manager, if we’re going to be really, really critical, when we’re on top, we should have finished the game off,” said Hayrettin.

“We got the goal and we could have got another one.

"Usually, you’d put your money on Sam there, wouldn’t you, and he’s smashed it over.

“It’s probably gone back to Maidstone, that ball, but I’m overly proud.

“Boreham Wood are a good club, with a good manager, they’ve done an amazing job, they’ve kept 16 clean sheets, they’re on the verge of doing something fantastic here.

“They’ve got a young, hungry, enthusiastic manager in Luke Garrard, no different to me, but I’m a little bit older than him.

“They’re not where they are in the league because someone’s picked them up and put them there, they’re there on merit and I’ve seen them play and they grind teams down.

“They play similar to us.

“Sometimes people think their back three are weak, that they can’t run, but, let me tell you, that’s their strength, and they’ve got good athleticism in midfield but I’m overly proud of our boys.

"We could have won and should have won. We were better than them, I think.”

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