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Worthing 5 Maidstone United 1 match report: Bivesh Gurung sent off as Stones thumped by promotion rivals

Ten-man Maidstone had an afternoon to forget at National League South promotion rivals Worthing.

Bivesh Gurung picked up his second red card of the season as United were put to the sword by an Ollie Pearce hat-trick.

Maidstone United manager George Elokobi. Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone United manager George Elokobi. Picture: Steve Terrell

One down when Gurung was dismissed, the visitors quickly found themselves 3-0 down, with Pearce’s second followed by a Danny Cashman strike.

Matt Rush gave them a glimmer of hope before Pearce completed his treble and Stones old boy Jake Robinson added a late fifth.

Worthing made all the early running at Woodside Park, dictating play, and not allowing United a foothold.

A goal looked a matter of time and it arrived in messy circumstances in the 15th minute.

Lucas Covolan came for a ball over the top but it bounced over his head, leaving Pearce a simple finish.

Set-pieces troubled Worthing soon after the opener, with Reiss Greenidge having a header blocked on the line.

Maidstone could have done with putting a few more balls in the box and testing the Rebels backline.

But it didn’t happen and their hopes of getting back into the game were hit when Gurung was dismissed for a rash challenge on Osei Sorondo after 33 minutes.

The challenge wasn’t high but he appeared to go in with two feet and out came the red card - his second this season.

Worthing quickly took advantage of the extra man, Pearce burying a loose ball for their second goal on 35 minutes.

Number three followed a minute before half-time with Worthing working the ball into space on the right, leading to a tap-in at the far post for Cashman.

Boss George Elokobi - who picked up his third booking shortly before the break, meaning a one-game touchline ban - had a decision to make a half-time.

Try and avoid spanking with 10 men, or have a go.

Maidstone needed to be sensible about it but there were a couple of early openings for Harry Kyprianou, getting forward from his reshuffled left-back position.

The first saw him fire narrowly wide after substitutes Lamar Reynolds and Sol Wanjau-Smith combined, then a far-post header was just about dealt with by Rocco Rees.

Maidstone kept going forward and got their rewards when Rush bundled home Reynolds’ 61st-minute cross.

Worthing took the sting out of the game immediately after the goal before adding their fourth in the 70th minute.

Pearce was the scorer, lashing home a loose ball for his hat-trick goal after Covolan failed to deal with a corner.

Ex-Maidstone striker Jake Robinson slid in for the Rebels’ fifth in added time.

Worthing: Rees, Colbran, Wills, Rye, Pearce (Robinson 86mins), Wheeler, Sorondo (Klass 68mins), Chadwick (Luer 68mins), Aguiar, Felix, Cashman. Subs not used: Livesey-Austin, Luque.

Maidstone: Covolan, Hoyte, Fowler, Greenidge, Kyprianou, Gurung, Corne, Petrasso (Sole 80mins), Ezennolim (Wanjau-Smith 36mins), Rush, Abraham (Reynolds 46mins). Subs not used: Brown, Reynolds, Earle.

Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis.

Attendance: 1,321.

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