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Maidstone United 2 Tonbridge Angels 0 match report: The Stones go top of National League South

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Maidstone are the new leaders in National South after completing the double over Tonbridge.

First-half goals from Dominic Odusanya and Joan Luque sent United top for the first time this season, while the Angels are now 10 league games without a win

Maidstone winger Joan Luque celebrates his goal Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone winger Joan Luque celebrates his goal Picture: Steve Terrell

The derby attracted the biggest gate of the season at the Gallagher, with more than 3,100 turning out as Maidstone recorded a sixth straight victory.

Tonbridge, who had Doug Loft sent off late on, started with purpose against a Stones side who put a few passes astray early while looking for Luque.

The Luque v Luke Jenkins dual made for a fascinating sideshow after comments by the young defender following the Boxing Day derby at Longmead.

It was bubbling away nicely, both players having their moments, but Luque had the last laugh with his goal.

Maidstone grew into the game and there were a couple of openings in the opening 15 minutes, Regan Booty’s lovely crossfield pass picking out Roarie Deacon, whose pull-back was fired over first-time by Odusanya.

A clever pass over the top by Luque freed Michael Phillips soon after but Jonny Henly won the race to the ball and was flattened for his troubles by the committed Stones midfielder.

Phillips went on to hit the post from a Booty corner before a good opening for Tonbridge was snuffed when Tom Hadler made himself big on the edge of the box as Joe Turner attempted to lift the ball over him.

Maidstone opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a second goal in as many games for Odusanya.

What a strike it was, too, with the midfielder meeting Jack Barham’s lay-off with a terrific effort from 25 yards that flew past Henly.

Referee Isaac Searle waved away Tonbridge penalty appeals after Tommy Wood went to ground when pursued by Raphe Brown.

Tonbridge skipper Sonny Miles challenges Jack Barham Picture: Steve Terrell
Tonbridge skipper Sonny Miles challenges Jack Barham Picture: Steve Terrell

Soon after, in the 44th minute, Maidstone scored their second goal after a mistake by Tom Parkinson whose attempted backpass was cut out by Barham.

The Stones forward raced clear down the right and while his cross hit an Angels defender, the ball fell nicely for Luque, who couldn’t miss.

Turner might have made more of a header for Tonbridge early in the second half, Hadler with a comfortable take, then George Fowler denied him a clear strike after turning in the box.

Tonbridge were having a go, missing a chance to pull a goal back when Jenkins planted a free header over from a corner.

They kept going but appeared out of ideas by the time midfielder Loft was sent off for a challenge on Odusanya with six minutes left.

With home fans in full voice, the Stones should have added number three when Booty fed Odusanya but Henly made the block.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Ellul, Fowler, Brown, Booty, Odusanya (Gallagher 89mins), Phillips, Deacon (Pattisson 80mins), Luque, Barham. Subs not used: Grant, Mersin, Binnom-Williams.

Tonbridge: Henly, O’Sullivan (Braham-Barrett 46mins), Jenkins, Loft, Miles, Parkinson, Fielding, Lovatt, Wood (Olutade 64mins), Smith-Joseph (Beere 58mins), Turner. Subs not used: Embery, Hudson.

Referee: Issac Searle.

Attendance: 3,116.

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