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Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin 'immensely proud' after derby win at Tonbridge Angels


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Maidstone manager Hakan Hayrettin said his side defended like warriors in their Boxing Day victory at Tonbridge.

The Stones were put under pressure by an Angels team trailing to Michael Phillips’ first-half goal.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin celebrates at full-time Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin celebrates at full-time Picture: Steve Terrell

But they were up to the task, with the gritty 1-0 win pleasing Hayrettin as much as their 4-0 demolition of Dartford as Maidstone secured a fourth successive league victory for the first time this season.

“Tonbridge are probably one of the best teams we’ve played in terms of their organisation and discipline, I don’t think the league table reflects where they should be,” said Hayrettin.

“Steve (McKimm) has got a good team there and we had to defend like warriors at times in the second half.

“I think we could have scored more in the first half but I’ll take the 1-0 and if there’s a pleasing thing for me, it’s the way we defended.

“All conditions, all surfaces, all formations, all players, I signed a squad to adapt to that and we’ve shown that today.

“We had them on the back foot in the first half, if we’d scored a second I think it could have been game over and done with but we didn’t and they put us under extreme pressure, and fair play to them. We just dealt with it.

Michael Phillips finds the top corner for Maidstone's winning goal Picture: Steve Terrell
Michael Phillips finds the top corner for Maidstone's winning goal Picture: Steve Terrell

“This is just as pleasing as Dartford, in a different format.

“I keep saying this, working hard is hard work and we’ve got to keep working hard.

“We’ve got to keep working harder than the other teams and today we had to work harder than them in the final third not to let a goal in. I’m immensely proud of the boys.”

Maidstone are up to fourth in National South, level on points with Dartford and Ebbsfleet, whose meeting was postponed due to Covid, with Oxford City three clear at the top.

Hayrettin’s side are back in action tomorrow, with Welling the visitors to the Gallagher Stadium.

Wings boss Peter Taylor was in the crowd at Tonbridge after their match against Dulwich was postponed.

Maidstone players celebrate their derby win at Longmead Steve Terrell
Maidstone players celebrate their derby win at Longmead Steve Terrell

“We’ve got to keep pushing,” said Hayrettin, whose side are training today.

“These three games over Christmas and New Year are vital for the club. We’ve got to keep doing the right things.

“I want to keep everyone on their toes, that’s my job, that’s what I get paid for.

“Was it our best performance (at Tonbridge) in terms of the way we play? No, but it was probably one of our best performances in terms of the way we defended, for sure.

“Peter Taylor was here, he can look all he wants, it’ll be a different game at home, we’ll be all guns blazing.

“I’ve got a lot of time and a lot of respect for Peter, we speak frequently, but we’re at home, we’re at the Gallagher, let’s put on a show for our supporters.”

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