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Maidstone United 3 Torquay United 2 match report: Goals from Matt Rush, Mo Faal and Sam Corne earn victory for the Stones

Sam Corne scored a late cracker as Maidstone finally saw off battling Torquay at the Gallagher.

Goals from Matt Rush and Mo Faal were cancelled out by Asa Hall and Stones old boy Ross Marshall as the Gulls twice hit back from behind.

Matt Rush fires Maidstone in front against Torquay. Picture: Helen Cooper
Matt Rush fires Maidstone in front against Torquay. Picture: Helen Cooper

But Corne, scorer of Maidstone’s winning goal in the FA Cup at Ipswich just over a week ago, delivered an 87th-minute wonder strike from outside the box.

The Stones are up to third in National League South after completing the double over Torquay and they’ve also knocked them out of the FA Cup this season.

Maidstone, unchanged from the side who beat leaders Yeovil on Saturday, made a perfect start by taking a fourth-minute lead.

Reiss Greenidge played a ball down the left to Faal and he found strike partner Rush, who fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the area for his 10th Stones goal.

Torquay were pre-season title favourites alongside Yeovil but have been in poor form, losing 4-0 at home to St Albans on Saturday and an increasing number of fans wanting boss Gary Johnson out.

Given all that you might have expected heads to go down after conceding so early but they hung in there against a Maidstone side who enjoyed plenty of possession and moved the ball well at times.

Indeed, they were level in the 17th minute with big Duane Acheampong, who had spells in Isthmian South East with Sittingbourne and Hythe last season, showing good feet to set up skipper Hall from close range, with Maidstone expecting an offside flag.

Matt Rush celebrates his opener with Mo Faal. Picture: Helen Cooper
Matt Rush celebrates his opener with Mo Faal. Picture: Helen Cooper

Torquay appeared happy for United to have most of the ball, picking their moments to attack.

There were several half-chances at either end while Faal’s cross just came at Rush a bit too quickly when well-placed to score.

A big chance fell Maidstone’s way in added time with Mark Halstead making a superb save after Sam Bone worked the ball to Liam Sole at the back post.

Dan Martin missed a golden opening for Torquay at the start of the second half and they were made to regret it when Maidstone regained the lead in the 49th minute.

Faal continued his record of scoring in every game since joining on loan from Havant, finishing superbly from a tight angle after cutting in from the right. That’s four in four for the big striker.

Lucas Covolan denied Arkell Jude-Boyd a leveller after getting away from Lamar Reynolds down the right as Torquay threatened a quick response.

Lamar Reynolds on the attack. Picture: Helen Cooper
Lamar Reynolds on the attack. Picture: Helen Cooper

They went even closer before the hour mark with substitute Ethon Archer hitting the base of the post from the edge of the box.

Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong hit the side-netting at the other end after working space for a shot from substitute Jephte Tanga’s pass.

But Torquay kept plugging away, one of their players even jumping the barrier to retrieve a ball, and levelled 11 minutes from time when ex-Stones defender Marshall got his head to a free-kick.

Torquay pressed on in search of a winner but it was Maidstone who got the all-important fifth goal in the game with talisman Corne brilliantly finding the top corner from 25 yards.

Maidstone: Covolan, Brown, Fowler, Greenidge, Sole (Tanga 66mins), Bone, Corne, Berkeley-Agyepong (Gurung 79mins), Reynolds, Faal (Duku 75mins), Rush. Subs not used: Ezennolim, Earle.

Torquay: Halstead, Jude-Boyd, Martin, Lapslie, Booth, Marshall (Collins 83mins), Hall, McGavin, Jenkins-Davies, Acheampong (Ash 74mins), Moxey (Archer 55mins). Subs not used: De Silva, Lovett.

Referee: Tom Ellsmore.

Attendance: 2,004 (71 away).

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