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Maidstone United 3 St Albans City 2 match report: Johl Powell scores winner in sixth minute of added time

Maidstone moved four points clear at the top of National South after substitute Johl Powell scored a last-gasp winner against St Albans.

It looked as though they’d have to settle for a draw after blowing an early two-goal lead given to them by Sam Corne and Jerome Binnom-Williams.

Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Chris Davey
Maidstone United manager Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Chris Davey

They conceded two lousy goals, both scored by Shaun Jeffers, but Powell struck in the sixth and final minute of added time to win it for Maidstone.

Maidstone started like a train at the Gallagher, taking the lead inside two minutes.

Dominic Odusanya kept the ball alive from a Roarie Deacon free-kick, hooking it across goal, St Albans didn’t deal with it and Corne thumped home on the volley.

Corne could hardly have struck it any better and a second for the Stones followed in the seventh minute after St Albans conceded another free-kick, 20 yards out.

With Joan Luque and Deacon looking favourites to strike it, the ball was instead worked to Binnom-Williams and he fired into the bottom corner - his first Stones goal.

Hakan Hayrettin’s men were looking in total control against an out-of-sorts away team who seemed happy to sit off and let them knock the ball about in the heat.

But St Albans were handed a route back into the match in the 26th minute when Joe Ellul was caught out attempting to let the ball run out for a goal-kick, allowing Jeffers to pounce.

Maidstone had a couple of bright moments before half-time, Deacon getting at his man down the right, but the sting had gone out of their early play and, if anything, St Albans had more of the ball leading up to the interval.

The equaliser followed eight minutes into the second half, and it was another cheap goal to concede.

Indecision at the back eventually saw Ellul put the ball out for a throw-in and, from there, Zane Banton’s cross was headed home by Jeffers.

Odusanya’s 20-yarder was comfortably held by Michael Johnson and George Fowler headed over as Maidstone looked to regain the initiative.

But it was generally scrappy stuff and there was danger again at the other end when Binnom-Williams’ back-header threatened to let in Jeffers for his hat-trick.

Ellul was withdrawn midway through the second half - unclear if that was down to his form or an injury - and Michael Phillips and Jack Barham soon followed as Hayrettin made three changes in eight minutes.

The Stones boss cut a frustrated figure on the touchline and his hands were on his head again when substitute Christie Pattisson’s dangerous ball across the six-yard box came to nothing.

Things might have got worse for the Stones when Joy Mukena planted a header wide when well-placed.

Maidstone kept pushing, Hady Ghandour with a near-post header wide from another Pattisson cross at the start of six minutes’ added time.

Time was virtually up when Pattisson's latest cross was sept home by Powell, sending fans and players wild.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Ellul (Pattisson 68mins), Binnom-Williams, Odusanya, Phillips (Powell 72mins), Corne, Deacon, Luque, Barham (Ghandour 76mins). Subs not used: Elokobi, Mersin.

Referee: Ross Martin.

Attendance: 2,518.

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