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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders on Kent Senior Cup win over Gillingham

Manager Jay Saunders enjoyed the occasion as Maidstone beat Gillingham 2-1 in the Kent Senior Cup.

Two strong sides produced a decent quarter-final tie while a crowd of more than 1,600 - including 500 Gills supporters - gave excellent backing at the Gallagher Stadium.

Saunders, whose team beat Heybridge in the FA Trophy at the weekend, said: "For me it was a case of building on Saturday.

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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton
Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Payton

"I know it's the Kent Cup, so it's not as important as the FA Trophy and the league, but our home record's not been great so it's nice to get a win on Saturday and be able to build on that in what was a good atmosphere and a good occasion.

"Today, you know you're up against better players, a better side, but it pleased me.

"We tried to play, we looked threatening at times - our finishing wasn't good enough - but in general I thought we deserved the win so there's plenty of positive signs.

"There's a lot of league players in the Gills team, players that have been on the bench, so it was tough for us but I was pleased.

"I'm sure if the Kent FA could have games like that every week they'd be delighted, with the crowd and everything. The atmosphere was fantastic."

Saunders didn't have the option to rest players with his small squad stretched by Joe Pigott's departure while Johan ter Horst and Ollie Muldoon were cup-tied and Magnus Okuonghae missed the game due to personal reasons.

Jack Paxman, centre, celebrates his goal Picture: Andy Payton
Jack Paxman, centre, celebrates his goal Picture: Andy Payton

The one player he did rest was Stuart Lewis and his replacement, Jack Paxman, scored the opening goal.

Paxman is doing all he can to force his way back into Saunders' plans after being made available for loan for the second time this season.

Saunders said: "I would have liked to have given three or four others a rest but we couldn't do that.

"Paxman, I thought was excellent.

"He's been loaned out and not got the run he's wanted but that's the sort of performance I need from him week in, week out, and if he gives me that then you could see he's got all the ability in the world."

Read the match report from Maidstone's 2-1 win over Gillingham

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