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Maidstone United 4-1 Hemel Hempstead match report

Joan Luque enjoyed a dream debut as Maidstone scored three times in five minutes to beat Hemel.

Luque, who joined yesterday as a free agent, had a hand in the first two goals - scored by Sam Corne and Raphe Brown - and added the third himself as United took charge at the Gallagher.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell

Hemel replied through Sadik Balarabe with 10 minutes left but Noah Chesmain marked his return from injury with Maidstone’s fourth.

The visitors had been looking bright in attack in what had been a good start.

Indeed they may well have gone in front but for an excellent covering challenge from Brown, across from left-back, to snuff out a swift counter from Balarabe.

But Maidstone took the game away from them with a devastating spell of three goals in five minutes midway through the half.

The opener came in the 23rd minute with Luque swapping passes with Porter before cutting inside and returning the ball to Porter, whose floated cross was volleyed home by Corne at the back post.

Maidstone doubled their lead a minute later with Luque involved again, feeding Brown, who finished low past Dean Snedker.

And it was 3-0 on 28 minutes with Porter collecting a loose ball and finding Justin Amaluzor, who reached the byline and crossed to the back post for Luque to finish.

Luque and Amaluzor were enjoying themselves cutting inside as confidence flowed through the side.

United almost had a fourth just past the half-hour when Porter led a counter-attack and found Amaluzor whose cross was met first-time by Luque on the edge of the box but Snedker produced a fine tip-over.

Luque was at it again early in the second half, collecting a Scott Rendell knockdown from Joe Ellul’s diagonal free-kick and going for goal but Snedker made another good save to turn it past the past.

Maidstone created a series of chances midway through the half with Amaluzor inches wide after a good run, Porter forcing a smart low save from Snedker after collecting Luque’s pass, then Luque hit the outside of the post arriving to meet Porter’s cross.

Hemel replied in the 80th minute, a lovely turn and finish into the top corner by Balarabe.

Maidstone restored their three-goal lead six minutes later, Chesmain with a tap-in on the line after Rendell hit the bar.

Maidstone: Lewington, Hoyte, Ellul, Elokobi, Brown, Corne, Odusanya (Olutade 85mins), Amaluzor (Richefond 72mins), Porter, Luque (Chesmain 78mins), Rendell. Subs not used: Olutade, Agboola, Constable.

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