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Maidstone United 4 Welling United 1 match report


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Maidstone came from a goal down to thrash Welling and move level on points with National South leaders Oxford City.

Dipo Akinyemi put the Wings in front but the Stones stormed back, with Dominic Odusanya, Roarie Deacon, Jack Barham and skipper Gavin Hoyte earning a fifth straight victory.

Maidstone skipper Gavin Hoyte is congratulated on his goal by Joan Luque Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone skipper Gavin Hoyte is congratulated on his goal by Joan Luque Picture: Steve Terrell

Maidstone, with Regan Booty popping balls about for fun in central midfield, recovered from the shock of conceding the opener to score twice in two minutes for a half-time lead.

Joan Luque, picked out time and time again on the left flank, set up both goals as the hosts fired straight back.

But while Hakan Hayrettin’s largely dominated, the Wings could point to a couple of big chances before half-time.

Maidstone started at pace, with efforts from Deacon and Jermaine McGlashan - one of three changes from the Boxing Day win at Tonbridge - blocked before Welling took a 19th-minute lead.

It came from Mason Saunders-Henry’s corner, with the ball knocked down by Kristian Campbell for Akinyemi to stab in.

Regan Booty runs the show in Maidstone's midfield Picture: Steve Terrell
Regan Booty runs the show in Maidstone's midfield Picture: Steve Terrell

Welling had already defended in numbers and looked as though they might take some breaking down but, crucially, Maidstone wasted no time pulling level.

The warning signs were there when Luque, who usually cuts inside on his right foot, instead played in a cracking left-cross for Deacon, whose volley hit the bar.

Seconds later, in the 24th minute, Maidstone were level and it was that man Luque - signed by Wings boss Peter Taylor while in charge at Dagenham - who was involved again.

This time, he rolled the ball into the path of Odusanya, another of the changes, and he fired a low drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Two minutes later Maidstone went in front, with Luque coming infield and feeding Deacon, who turned and thumped home with his left foot from 25 yards.

Jack Barham celebrates Maidstone's third goal with Joan Luque and Sam Corne Picture: Steve Terrell
Jack Barham celebrates Maidstone's third goal with Joan Luque and Sam Corne Picture: Steve Terrell

Welling had two big chances to equalise before half-time, first an Akinyemi header which was kept out at point-blank range by Tom Hadler and then when Saunders-Henry hit the side-netting after being played through on goal.

Maidstone extended their lead five minutes into the second half.

Barham, who bagged a hat-trick of poacher’s finishes against Dartford, showed his class from outside the box with a lovely lob over the onrushing Jack Sims from Joe Ellul’s pass.

Three became four in the 63rd minute as McGlashan worked the ball to Sam Corne in the box before Hoyte, up from left-back, confidently beat Sims with a low finish.

Joan Luque makes progress down the left against Welling Picture: Steve Terrell
Joan Luque makes progress down the left against Welling Picture: Steve Terrell

Maidstone were enjoying themselves and went close to number five when Corne’s header back across goal from a Deacon cross dropped inches wide, and again when substitute Reece Grant was denied by Sims minutes after his introduction.

Still the hosts kept going forward, with Sims denying them once more after Corne latched on to Booty’s clever pass.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Ellul, Fowler, McGlashan, Booty, Odusanya (Phillips 88mins), Corne, Deacon, Barham (Grant 73mins), Luque (Pattisson 86mins). Subs not used: Gurung, Mersin.

Welling: Sims, Ezennolim, Statham, Shokunbi, Durojaiye, Akinyemi (Derry 68mins), Saunders-Henry, Campbell (Stevenson 73mins), Muscatt (Parish 68mins), Penney, Perkins. Subs not used: Barnes, Pearce.

Referee: Dan Lamport.

Attendance: 2,572.

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