Published: 05:00, 14 January 2022
Maidstone are out to succeed where AFC Wimbledon failed when they take on Boreham Wood.
The sides meet in the FA Trophy fourth round on Saturday with Wood on a high after beating the Dons in the FA Cup last weekend.
Their 2-0 victory over the League 1 club highlights the size of the task facing the Stones when they travel to Hertfordshire on Saturday.
Luke Garrard’s team are also in National League title contention, third in the table with games in hand to go top.
But the Stones are in good form themselves, nine games unbeaten in all competitions and second in National South.
Maidstone midfielder Michael Phillips, who faced the Wood with Wealdstone last season, said: “I know a few of the players there and I’ve spoken to the manager a bit, and they are a good team.
“They’re a hardworking team, they beat AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup so it’s going to be a tough, tough game but we’re good as well.
"We should be in the National League so it will be a good test. I don’t think we’ll get smacked.
"They’re doing well in the National League and we’re doing well in National South, so it will be a good old battle.”
Maidstone’s run of six league wins on the spin ended when they drew 1-1 at Billericay last weekend.
Manager Hakan Hayrettin told the players it was a good point after Reece Grant’s late equaliser but that didn’t stop them feeling an initial sense of disappointment having been largely on top.
“We set ourselves high standards and when we drop just a tiny bit everyone’s deflated,” said Phillips.
“We’ve had chances, I’ve had three chances to score, we dominated the whole game, it’s just unfortunate we only got a point.
"But, look, you’ll win the league by winning and drawing, it’s good we didn’t lose.
“We were losing 1-0 and Reece Grant came on and did an unbelievable job and unfortunately he came off injured after scoring."
Phillips, who moved to clear up speculation over his relationship with Hayrettin after the Billericay game, has been in fine form during Maidstone’s resurgence.
And he’s only going to get better.
“There’s much more to come,” said Phillips.
“I’m getting there. Give me a bit more time, about a month, and I’ll be back at my peak.”