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Maidstone United 4 Havant & Waterlooville 0 match report: Jack Barham scores his third hat-trick this season

Jack Barham scored in the first minute and went on to complete his third hat-trick of the season for league leaders Maidstone.

Barham’s treble took his tally for the season to 15 while top scorer Joan Luque moved on to 21 after adding a penalty, as United maintained their four-point cushion at the top of National South.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Keith Gillard

It was a 12th successive home win for as Maidstone maintained their title charge with a dominant performance against a Havant side who arrived at the Gallagher unbeaten in seven games.

Maidstone blew away the Hawks with two goals in the opening eight minutes.

The first came with less than a minute played, with former Stones loanee Ross Worner at fault.

He came out of his goal to head clear Luque’s long ball nodded it straight up in the air.

The ball was collected by Barham, who turned and brilliantly lobbed him from about 30 yards out.

Barham went close to a second, taking a touch and volleying wide at the near post, after Luque intercepted a poor clearance and crossed.

He was soon celebrating again, though, after finding himself in acres of space from Michael Phillips’ through ball and showing great composure to go through and beat Worner.

Maidstone blew an early two-goal lead against St Albans last week and looked to determined to avoid a repeat, dealing with long throws and long balls into the box with relative ease.

Luque flicked wide after a lovely switch from Jerome Binnom-Williams put Roarie Deacon in for a cross, before number three followed in the 31st minute.

Billy Clifford wiped out Johl Powell in the box, a really silly challenge, the easiest penalty Marc Whaley will ever award.

Luque, with his stuttering run-up, sent Worner the wrong way from the spot with a cool strike.

Clifford was hauled off not long after and his replacement, Jake Andrews, culled a free-kick against the bar.

Maidstone nearly had a fourth in added time, Deacon with an effort blocked before teeing up Luque, who blasted over.

Skipper Gavin Hoyte headed a Dominic Odusanya cross on to the roof of the net early in the second half as Binnom-Williams continued to cause problems getting forward from left-back.

Maidstone were by far the better side and continued to push for more, Deacon curling just wide after cutting inside on his left foot.

Barham got away from his man soon after but Worner got down to deny him.

Tom Hadler dived to his left to push Manny Duku’s goalbound free-kick out for a corner, a decent save from the Stones No.1.

At the other end, Binnom-Williams wrapped his foot around the ball 25 yards out, he could hardly have caught it any sweeter, but Worner was equal to it.

Barham sealed his third hat-trick a minute from time with a close range header after Deacon sent the ball back across goal.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Ellul, Binnom-Williams, Odusanya, Phillips, Powell (Gurung 86mins), Deacon (Pattisson 90+1mins), Luque, Barham (Ghandour 90mins). Subs not used: Elokobi, Mersin.

Referee: Marc Whaley.

Attendance: 2,730.

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