Published: 08:56, 14 April 2019
| Updated: 09:15, 14 April 2019
Hakan Hayrettin felt relegated Maidstone were the better team in their 4-1 defeat at Chesterfield.
That’s not a statement you’ll hear too often after a heavy loss but Hayrettin could point to a string of missed chances, while two late goals distorted the scoreline.
The Stones head coach said: “It’s never a 4-1. Never. And we were the better team in the second half. You can ask their manager. He knows that.
“How many times are we going to get in the box and not punish them?
“We must have got in the box at least 15 times.
“Fifteen times we put them under pressure but if you don’t hit the target you aren’t going to score, simple as that.
“It was a great performance, I thought, but the result’s not the right result.
“Up until 70 minutes, if you looked at that game, you’d think, ‘cor, who are the amber team?’ You wouldn’t know, would you?
“We played well up top but we didn’t work the goalkeeper.
“It’s frustrating because we’ve come here and matched them for 70 minutes and we were the better team but we didn’t take our chances.”
Hayrettin criticised the defending for Chesterfield’s second and third goals as Maidstone’s efforts came to nothing.
The second came from Scott Boden after big striker Tom Denton won a knockdown and the third was eventually given as a Will De Havilland own goal after Ellis Chapman got in down the left.
That was it for the Stones’ chances and they conceded an injury-time fourth, with defeat sending them back to the foot of the table after Braintree beat AFC Fylde.
Hayrettin said: “We penetrated, we got in, we opened them up, but it’s slack defending for the third goal from Michael Phillips, too easy, he’s come inside and beaten him.
“The second goal, Denton, we know he’s going to head it down, we didn’t get tight enough in the box.
“That’s where you get punished. We didn’t take our chances, they did.”
Maidstone were backed by 140 fans at Chesterfield’s impressive Proact Stadium, the sort of venue they’ll miss next season.
They made the most of their last long trip, with Sutton on Easter Monday the Stones’ final away game as a National League club.
Hayrettin said: “We went over there at the end and we appreciated their support.
“This football club’s got fantastic support, home and away.
"They didn’t stop singing, didn’t stop cheering their team on.”
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More by this authorCraig Tucker