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Torquay United 1 Maidstone United 0 match report: Aaron Jarvis' late goal settles bottom-of-the-table scrap

Maidstone remain bottom of the National League after losing at relegation rivals Torquay.

The Stones dug in but their resistance was broken 11 minutes from time when Aaron Jarvis scored the only goal.

Maidstone United caretaker manager George Elokobi. Picture: Helen Cooper
Maidstone United caretaker manager George Elokobi. Picture: Helen Cooper

It's a ninth successive defeat for the visitors and another big blow to their survival chances.

Dan Barden took Yusuf Mersin’s place in goal, there was a first start for defender Mamadou Jobe and Sha’mar Lawson returned in midfield as Maidstone made three changes to the side beaten by Aldershot.

Torquay included ex-Maidstone defender Shaun Donnellan in their starting XI with another two old boys, Ross Marshall and Jacob Mensah, on the bench.

Maidstone had won their last seven games against Torquay - five in the league, as well as FA Trophy and FA Cup ties - so recent history at least gave them cause for optimism.

There was nothing clear-cut at either end in a tight first half not short on effort but lacking a spark.

A direct Gulls side made more of the running but Maidstone looked pretty comfortable defensively.

The hosts' only genuine opening was a loose ball that dropped to captain Dean Moxey in the box but he blazed over.

Maidstone weren’t getting much change out of big Gulls dedender Nico Lawrence and it was tough for them to make much of an impression in attack.

Lawson had an early strike blocked and later stroked an effort past the post after a good run from midfield, while Sam Corne timed his run well but headed over over after Jack Barham collected Regan Booty’s ball down the left channel and crossed.

Torquay threatened just after the break, Barden tipping over Donnellan’s header from a Moxey free-kick.

Backed by a vocal home crowd, they got balls in the box and pushed for the opener but were still struggling to really test United’s keeper, as highlighted by Dillon De Silva’s poor finish at the end of a lovely run.

That changed in the final 20 minutes when the ball dropped to Jarvis a matter of yards out.

It was there to hit, he connected perfectly but Barden made a superb save with his foot to keep it at 0-0.

Torquay finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute.

It came after Maidstone lost possession in midfield, with Jarvis latching on to a Tope Fadahunsi through ball and firing the ball across Barden into the far top corner.

Deacon had an effort tipped over from the edge of the box in the closing minutes for Maidstone.

Torquay: Halstead, Lapslie, Jarvis, Fadahunsi (Crowe 82mins), Evans, Wyatt (Marshall 89mins), Donnellan, Aguiar (Hanson 75mins), Lawrence, Moxey, De Silva. Subs not used Mensah, Lovett.

Maidstone: Barden, Fowler, Jobe, Bone, Binnom-Williams, Booty, Lawson (Pattisson 81mins), Corne, Deacon, Barham (Fawole 83mins), Galvin (Alabi 46mins). Subs not used: Mersin, Cawley.

Referee: David Richardson.

Attendance: 2,308 (165 away).

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