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Harrogate Town 2 Maidstone United 2 match report

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone delayed relegation with a battling draw at play-off contenders Harrogate.

Defeat might have confirmed the drop before the end of March but they deserve credit for their performance in a 2-2 draw in North Yorkshire.

Justin Amaluzor scored two excellent goals as United came from behind to lead but Town secured a point.

Maidstone head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones

The Stones started brightly, forcing a couple of corners while Blair Turgott and Amazluor looked lively down either flank.

Indeed, there was a decent opening early on when Simon Walton freed Turgott down the right, with his ball across the face of goal just eluding Amaluzor.

Harrogate used their 3G surface well, showing patience on the ball and picking their moments to get Ryan Fallowfield in up one side and Joe Leesley on the other.

They grew into the game and took the lead in the 20th minute when Leesley’s left-wing cross was headed back across goal for Mark Beck to nod in from a yard out.

That triggered a goal spell for the hosts although they were restricted mainly to efforts from distance, Lloyd Kerry and Fallowfield missing the target.

Kelvin Langmead missed a golden chance from a corner but the threat was there on the break with Turgott looking increasingly dangerous down that right-hand side.

His cross was headed wide on the stretch by Amaluzor but Maidstone had their equaliser seconds before half-time, just after Beck had an effort ruled out for offside.

Jack Powell led the counter, bringing the ball forward and sliding a pass through to Turgott.

It eventually ended up with Amaluzor 20 yards out and he found the top corner with a cracking strike.

Chris Lewington got down well to keep out Josh Falkingham’s drive early in the second half.

Shortly afterwards, in the 52nd minute, Maidstone stunned the hosts with a second goal.

Aron Davies came inside and switched play to Amaluzor who continued his run and belted the ball past James Belshaw from the corner of the area.

The lead lasted 10 minutes with Jack Muldoon sending Lewington the wrong way from the penalty spot after being fouled by Walton.

Town piled on pressure after the equaliser, getting plenty of balls in the box, and they went close to a third when Leesley’s 25-yard strike hit the bar.

Maidstone weathered the storm and deserved a draw.

Maidstone: Lewington, Davies, De Havilland, Swaine, Donnellan, Walton, Taylor (Wishart 88mins), Powell, Turgott, Cassidy, Amaluzor (Phillips 79mins). Subs not used: Henry, Embery, Richards.

Attendance: 1,134.

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