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Sutton United 2 Maidstone United 2 match report

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone will finish bottom of the National League despite twice fighting back for a draw at 10-man Sutton.

The result, coupled with Braintree’s win over Dagenham, confirmed last place for the Stones with a game to go.

Dylan Kearney gave Sutton an early lead but they had Craig Eastmond sent off for handling on the line and Blair Turgott converted the penalty.

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

Sutton went back in front with Brett Williams’ smart finish but Turgott’s second penalty of the afternoon salvaged a draw.

Maidstone, showing four changes from Friday’s defeat by Braintree, were well in the game in the first half without really threatening.

Ross Worner, their former loanee, didn’t have a save to make in the opening 45 minutes despite the visitors carving out a few chances.

Ollie Muldoon fired hamlessly over, Elliott Romain teed up Aron Davies who lashed wide and Rob Swaine lost his man from Jack Powell’s free-kick but his volley cleared the bar.

There were also headers from Swaine and Will De Havilland that missed the target.

Slack defending led to Sutton’s ninth-minute opener with a long ball inadvertently flicked by Swaine into the path of Kearney, who shook off De Havilland and lifted the ball over Dion-Curtis Henry.

Harry Beautyman wasted a good chance after nice work by Roarie Deacon out on the left, making a poor connection when well placed.

And he blew an even better opportunity in first-half injury-time when Henry pushed a long throw into the path of the Sutton man who somehow blazed over.

Worner finally had a save to make in the first minute of the second half, denying Turgott after the Stones skipper ran on to Powell’s neat pass.

At the other end, Gime Toure dumped Davies on his backside but De Havilland got in the way of the shot, then Davies had an effort blocked for the Stones.

Maidstone levelled in the 53rd minute after Swaine’s header from a Powell corner was handled on the line by Eastmond, who saw red.

Turgott stepped up and sent Worner the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Maidstone looked to turn the screw with their extra man, causing panic in the Sutton box a couple of times soon after the equaliser.

The U’s, though, cleared their heads and the match settled down before Toure tested Henry after a tricky run.

Maidstone sent on Jake Embery for Powell in a switch to 4-4-2 and were in when Justin Amaluzor beat a couple of defenders in the box but poked wide of the near post.

The 10 men punished that miss by going 2-1 up in the 76th minute, Williams latching on to Neset Bellikli’s pass and firing first time past Henry.

Turgott forced a good save from Worner as Maidstone pushed for an equaliser, with Toure inches away from a third for Sutton.

Turgott made it 2-2 with a cool penalty after a push on Embery in the sixth minute of added time.

Maidstone: Henry, Davies, De Havilland, Swaine, Wishart, Muldoon, Powell (Embery 71mins), Richards (Phillips 35mins), Amaluzor, Romain, Turgott. Subs not used: Walton, Lewington, Edobor.

Attendance: 1,858 (90 away).

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