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Maidstone United goalkeeper Chris Lewington speaks about his return to the side

Chris Lewington knows he can't let his standards slip after taking over in goal at Maidstone.

Lewington has been brilliant in the four games he's played since John Still and Hakan Hayrettin decided Jake Cole needed to rest a calf problem.

Maidstone United goalkeeper Chris Lewington Picture: Steve Terrell (26247645)
Maidstone United goalkeeper Chris Lewington Picture: Steve Terrell (26247645)

The club's goalkeeper coach has had fans singing his name after numerous fine saves, the latest an outstanding reaction stop with his foot to deny Havant an injury-time equaliser on Saturday.

It's Lewington's shirt at the moment but any slip-ups and Cole is waiting in the wings.

"I still keep my eye in," said Lewington.

"It's not a case where I sit at home doing nothing for six months and then just turn up and play.

"It's still early days, I think that's four games I've played now.

"I'm enjoying being part of the team but obviously Coley's pushing and it's a bit of a challenge between us but he's been absolutely brilliant and supportive.

"That's the funny thing with goalies, there is that goalkeepers' union.

"We all understand the position, we also understand we're going to go through good bits and challenging bits, it's just the nature of it.

"It happened to me at Dover where I didn't play a game for 18 months, I wasn't even in the squad sometimes.

Chris Lewington in the thick of things at Havant Picture: Steve Terrell
Chris Lewington in the thick of things at Havant Picture: Steve Terrell

"I accept it, other goalies accept it, you don't want to not play but you're there to challenge and keep ticking over.

"Coley's first-class, he's absolutely brilliant as a person and as a goalkeeper, and his performances have been very good.

"I know if I don't perform, Coley will be in straight away.

"It's good pressure that we're both pushing each other and working extremely hard.

"You need that all around the team.

"People can go stale if you're sitting there with no one pushing you and it's no different with goalkeepers.

"I know it's a cliche but I'm in the team to make saves.

"If I didn't make saves I wouldn't be here but it's lovely when the fans sing your name.

"It gives you a nice buzz, and the fans are brilliant here."

Chris Lewington has been busy since regaining his place in the Maidstone team Picture: Steve Terrell (26246650)
Chris Lewington has been busy since regaining his place in the Maidstone team Picture: Steve Terrell (26246650)

Lewington played down his late save from Josh Taylor as Maidstone won at Havant.

It looked a goal all the way but the Stones keeper somehow kept it out as a big defensive effort was rewarded with three points.

"It's a reaction save," said Lewington. "To be honest, I'd have been disappointed to let it in.

"It's come through some bodies but it's quite close to me, so stick out a foot and make a save.

"That's what I'm there for, it's just happened to be the last kick of the game.

"It's pure concentration to get through a game like that and trying to be switched on to the situation.

"It's very difficult to stay concentrated for the amount of time we were defending in the second half and even first half because they were a very direct team.

"The back four, the two midfielders in front of them, even the wingers were back defending, and Ibby Akanbi was holding the ball up and getting back in, so it was a complete team performance. The whole XI were brilliant."

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