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Maidstone United 0 Salford City 2 match report - Stones are relegated

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone’s relegation from the National League was confirmed after losing at home to Salford.

The title-chasing visitors eased to victory with Adam Rooney’s double and take over top spot from Leyton Orient.

United were going down with a whimper based on their first-half showing.

Maidstone head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Steve Terrell

They picked up after the break but City, the division’s form side, rarely looked troubled.

It means United are down with five matches to play, having won only eight games all season.

Four of those were in the bag by the end of September but United haven’t been out of the bottom four since the end of November.

Maidstone needed to win to have any chance of staying afloat for another week but looked like a team ready to go down in a poor first half.

The visitors were in total control and, bar a slip from Carl Piergianni that gave Blair Turgott a sniff and a chance for Jake Cassidy that was take off his toe by Nathan Pond, they simply weren’t in it.

Salford appeared to target the right-hand side with Scott Wiseman causing plenty of problems for makeshift left-back Shaun Donnellan and producing a series of dangerous crosses.

The visitors looked comfortable in possession and even when they did lose it, Maidstone gave it straight back.

Chris Lewington made a decent save from Rooney and the ball somehow stayed out from a corner before the opening goal in the 13th minute.

Rooney was the scorer, turning smartly just inside the area and rolling the ball into the bottom corner.

Jack Powell headed off the line and Rooney hit the inside of the post from Wiseman’s cross, after United left Piergianni’s ball over the top, as Salford continued to run the show.

Ibou Touray’s free-kick caused chaos in the box, again the ball staying out, before Salford doubled their lead three minutes before half-time.

Wiseman got in once more up the right and played in a low cross which Rooney cleverly flicked home from a few yards out.

Maidstone improved at the start of the second half, playing in Salford territory and at least having a go, but they didn’t look like scoring.

Turgott pulled a shot wide and Josh Taylor’s effort his his own man, Justin Amaluzor, but there was nothing clear-cut until the last five minutes when another Taylor shot was blocked.

Maidstone: Lewington, Davies (Phillips 46mins), De Havilland, Swaine, Donnellan, Walton (Romain 84mins), Taylor, Powell, Turgott, Cassidy, Amaluzor (Embery 74mins). Subs not used: Strizovic, Richards.

Attendance: 2,050 (73 away).

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