Published: 08:13, 24 November 2021
| Updated: 15:20, 24 November 2021
Hakan Hayrettin said Maidstone showed what they’re capable of after upsetting the form book at Ebbsfleet.
The Stones boss saw his side twice come from a goal down to beat Fleet 3-2 at Stonebridge Road and shoot up to third in National South.
The hosts had won six on the spin and knew they’d go top with another victory against a Stones team who’d gone six league games without success before beating Chippenham at the weekend.
But Maidstone had the measure of Dennis Kutrieb’s men with a superb performance full of heart and desire that saw them upset Fleet’s rhythm while showing plenty of attacking ambition themselves.
Joan Luque and two goals from Sam Corne earned the win as Maidstone drew level on points with Ebbsfleet.
“It was a great performance,” said Hayrettin. “I’ve asked for them to play with big hearts and stop them from playing, which we did.
“I thought there were some great performances out there and I just thank them for their efforts for the last three games.
“They’ve been unbelievable. I’ve tried to create an atmosphere here and if things don’t go right people start questioning things but I think today we showed people what we’re capable of.
“To get seven points out of nine in the last three games has been fantastic for us and I think we go third now, which doesn’t mean anything, but for the players it does because Ebbsfleet are a very good team, they’ve assembled a very good squad and I thought we fully deserved to win.
“There were some big performances tonight.
“Sam Corne was unbelievable, George Fowler, I can’t describe how well he’s played. Everybody put a shift in.
“I’m pleased for them in there because we have got potential, we have got character and we will come good.”
It was the first time Maidstone had beaten Ebbsfleet since the 2016 National South play-off final and 363 travelling fans lapped it up.
“We’re in the business of winning games and trying to do the best we can,” said Hayrettin.
“Obviously it’s a local derby, I’ve played in a lot, I’ve managed in a lot, I don’t think it’s going to get bigger than this.
“The crowd was immense, our support has always been immense and I’ve said that from day one.
“The boys appreciate it, I appreciate it, we’ve got a long season to go and I think hopefully this is going to be the time for us to push on.
“Today was a product of the hard work everyone’s been putting in.”
Tom Hadler returned in goal against his former club, with Millwall loanee Ryan Sandford’s foot in a medical boot. He’s due for an MRI today.
Maidstone were also without Hady Ghandour, who returned to Charlton at the end of his loan spell, with injury preventing an extension.
The Stones are, though, in talks with Aldershot to extend George Fowler’s loan, which expired after the Fleet game.
“We don’t know what’s happening yet,” said Hayrettin. “We’ll see. He’s been immense.”