Published: 16:50, 23 October 2021
| Updated: 17:03, 23 October 2021
Maidstone suffered their third defeat on the spin in league and cup after once again failing to make early pressure count.
They lost 2-0 at home to Dorking in National South, with James McShane putting the visitors in front before half-time and Callum Kealy adding a killer second.
The Stones finished a man down with captain George Elokobi picking up a second booking after squaring up to referee Wayne Cartmel.
United handed a debut to striker Hady Ghandour, who’s joined on a month’s loan from Charlton, in the only change to the team beaten by Eastbourne a fortnight ago.
Ghandour worked hard, closing down Dorking defenders, and also looked bright on the ball for a Stones side who controlled the first half without making it pay.
Hakan Hayrettin’s men went close in the opening minute with Roarie Deacon’s half-volley inches over after Christie Pattisson met Regan Booty’s corner.
Ghandour created a golden chance for Booty moments later, running on to Elokobi’s long ball and squaring but the unmarked Stones midfielder couldn’t sort out his feet when well-placed a few yards out.
Ghandour fired over at the near post after a good run from Deacon’s pass, then Deacon narrowly missed the target after a lovely bit of skill out wide from Jerome Binnon-Williams as Maidstone continued to boss the show.
Dan Gallagher - brother of Stones midfielder Jake - put a 20-yard strike wide when found in space from Dorking’s first real sight of goal midway through the half.
Loanee Ghandour was in again at the other end after collecting Booty’s through ball but ex-Gills keeper Stuart Nelson made the block.
Having offered little in attack, Dorking took the lead two minutes before half-time with McShane finding a yard of space in the box and scuffing it into the far corner.
Maidstone had an immediate chance to level when Booty and Deacon combined to play in Sam Corne but Nelson was off his line sharply to make the save.
The Stones had a glorious opening early in the second half after Binnom-Williams exchanged passes with Deacon and squared but Pattisson cleared the bar from two yards out, albeit under pressure from the Dorking defence.
Soon after, Ghadour ran on to Binnom-Williams’ ball up the line, forced a mistake and broke into the box but went for goal from a tight angle, instead of squaring to Pattisson, and could only hit the side-netting.
Ghandour saw another effort snuffed out by the defence after delaying his shot from Jake Gallagher’s pass before Dorking doubled their lead with a sucker-punch second.
It came in the 76th minute with substitute Matthew Briggs feeding Barry Fuller whose cross was turned in by Kealy.
Two goals down, Maidstone were a man down a couple of minutes later with captain Elokobi picking up his second yellow card for his reaction to a challenge, getting up in referee Cartmel’s face.
Dorking then threatened a third when Bobby-Joe Taylor’s deflected strike hit the post.
The impressive Taylor did his job at the other end, clearing a last-minute effort off the line.
Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Brown, Elokobi, Binnom-Williams, Gallagher, Booty (Barham 66mins) Corne, Deacon (McGlashan 77mins), Pattisson, Ghandour (Pavey 77mins). Subs not used: Curran, Johnson.
Referee: Wayne Cartmel.