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Hungerford Town 3 Maidstone United 2 match report: Regan Booty shown two red cards in Stones defeat

Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty became an instant quiz question after picking up two red cards at Hungerford.

Booty was sent off for handling on the line with the Stones trailing midway through the first half, only to earn a reprieve when Hungerford were awarded a goal instead.

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

He was shown his second red card by referee Ross Martin - controversially, for a challenge on Jake Evans - and this time had to leave the pitch as Maidstone played the last 35 minutes with 10 men.

Maidstone battled back from 2-0 down with goals either side of half-time from Sam Corne and the returning Joan Luque, digging in superbly while a man down, only for Ryan Seager to complete his hat-trick in added time.

The Stones started brightly, Luque cutting inside from Booty’s pass and testing keeper Luke Cairney with a fierce strike, then Corne thrashed over the top after Phillips and Roarie Deacon combined in the box.

But a direct Hungerford side started to cause problems with long throws, balls into the box and corners, with Maidstone looking far from comfortable dealing with them.

They fell behind in the 18th minute after a half-clearance reached Seager who turned and fired into the far corner.

There was a bit of confusion initially as the ball went straight through the net, which required repairs before play restarted.

Chaotic scenes followed as Hungerford doubled their lead from a corner in the 28th minute.

Referee Martin showed Booty a red card for handball on the line before changing his mind after a chat with his linesman.

Between them, they decided Seager’s effort was already over the line when Booty handled, the goal was awarded and the Stones midfielder stayed on the pitch.

Maidstone looked a mess at two down, breaking down in attack, leaving space in midfield and putting passes astray, as well as still looking vulnerable to long balls.

So it came as a major relief to the travelling fans when they pulled a goal back out of nowhere in third minute of added time, Corne the scorer after meeting a flick-on from Booty’s free-kick.

Two minutes into the second half, the visitors were level.

Deacon’s shot was blocked with the ball landing to Luque, who forced it home from a tight angle off a defender.

Maidstone’s revival was dealt a major blow on 54 minutes when Booty was shown his second red card of the afternoon.

This time it counted but Maidstone were furious, given Booty’s challenge on Evans looked pretty fair on first viewing.

The home players’ reaction certainly didn’t help as they demanded a red card.

Stones keeper Tom Hadler denied Sol Wanjau-Smith with his legs as Hungerford threatened to regain the lead, followed by Corne’s diving header off the line.

And after Luque fired over at the other end, Stones left-back Raphe Brown pulled off a brilliant challenge when Seager sent substitute Chris Flood in on goal.

Maidstone were denied a deserved point in the first minute of injury time when Seager met Wanjau-Smith’s cross.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Curran, Brown, Booty, Phillips (Pattisson 77mins), Corne, Deacon (Odusanya 64mins), Luque, Ghandour (Pavey 64mins). Subs not used: Johnson, Grant.

Attendance: 529.

Referee: Ross Martin.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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