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Maidstone United 4 Ebbsfleet United 0 match report


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Maidstone thrashed Kent rivals Ebbsfleet to move three points behind leaders Dorking at the top of National South.

Joan Luque’s early penalty put the Stones in front and George Fowler doubled the lead before Sam Corne scored twice - just as he did at Stonebridge Road - to pile on the misery for Fleet.

George Fowler gives Maidstone a 2-0 lead with his first goal for the club Picture: Steve Terrell
George Fowler gives Maidstone a 2-0 lead with his first goal for the club Picture: Steve Terrell

The visitors - who conceded five at Dorking on Saturday - had defender Sefa Kahraman sent off for the second match running, along with manager Dennis Kutrieb, while Stones keeper Tom Hadler was also dismissed on a dramatic night.

Victory saw Maidstone complete the double over Ebbsfleet and stretch their unbeaten league run to 10 games.

Jerome Binnom-Williams came in for the injured Raphe Brown for the Stones while Fleet made five changes after their heavy weekend defeat at Dorking.

Kutrieb spoke about an immediate chance for his side to bounce back with the Maidstone game coming just a few days later.

But they could hardly have made a worse start, conceding a penalty when Joe Martin pulled back Roarie Deacon in the box after just 50 seconds.

Fleet contested the decision, to no avail, and finally Luque stepped up and coolly found the bottom corner to give Maidstone a third-minute lead.

The Stones kept the foot on the pedal, Jack Paxman booked for the first of three fouls on Corne and given a final warning towards the end of the half for a challenge on Jack Barham, and it took Fleet a while to clear their heads.

They got there in the end and it was fast and furious, roared on by a lively crowd, with both sides having a go.

It settled down and while Fleet looked neat and tidy on the ball, by the time they worked the ball into the box, big Joe Ellul was normally in the way.

Fleet did muster a couple of shots on goal, both from Greg Cundle, the first blocked by Gavin Hoyte and the second comfortably saved by Hadler.

Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty moves away from Ebbsfleet's Christian N'Guessan Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty moves away from Ebbsfleet's Christian N'Guessan Picture: Steve Terrell

For the Stones, Michael Phillips flashed a header wide from a Regan Booty free-kick and Barham ghosted in to meet Hoyte’s deflected cross but Chris Haigh made the save.

Early in the second half Craig Tanner dragged an effort wide after Lee Martin and Dominic Poleon combined, and the same player saw a shot blocked after bursting into the box from a short corner, while Ellul had a header from Booty’s free-kick cleared off the line at the other end as Maidstone went close to doubling their lead.

The Stones’ second arrived in the 66th minute and it was a shocker for the away defence as Booty’s inswinging corner went all the way through to the unmarked Fowler, who turned the ball in from virtually on the goalline.

Number three followed in the 70th minute as Fleet began to crumble, Corne heading home a cross at the far post.

And the Stones had their fourth on 75 minutes, Corne firing first time into the far corner from the edge of the box after the ball broke off the excellent Deacon.

Kahraman was sent off for the second successive game three minutes later after shoving Deacon into the advertising boards.

That triggered a melee by the touchline as players from both sides crowded in, with Stones keeper Hadler dismissed for his part. Fleet boss Kutrieb was also shown a red card.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Ellul, Binnom-Williams, Booty, Phillips, Corne (Gallagher 87mins), Deacon (Mersin 79mins), Luque (Pattisson 86mins), Barham. Subs not used: Gurung, Bettamer.

Ebbsfleet: Haigh, Adebayo-Rowling, J Martin (Wood 73mins), Kahraman, N’Guessan (Romain 67mins), L Martin, Poleon, Cundle, Tanner, Solly, Paxman (Chapman 46mins). Subs not used: Firth, Mekki.

Referee: Dale Wootton.

Attendance: 3,001

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