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Torquay United 2 Maidstone United 3 match report

By Craig Tucker

Yemi Odubade struck twice on his first start as Maidstone won a cracking match at Torquay on Saturday.

He opened the scoring followed by a quick second from Liam Enver-Marum as United punished some dreadful defending, with the Gulls pulling one back before half-time.

Odubade restored the two-goal cushion just after the break and while Torquay made it 3-2, Maidstone held on for their fourth National League away win of the season and are up to 11th place.

Yemi Odubade
Yemi Odubade

Odubade was one of three changes to the side who drew with Guiseley last weekend, Stones switching to 4-3-3 in the process.

The new man played on the left of the front three with Alex Flisher wide right and Enver-Marum through the middle.

James Rogers came in for Jack Paxman, joining Dan Sweeney and Bobby-Joe Taylor in a midfield three.

In defence, Kevin Lokko was back from a hip injury in place of Anthony Acheampong.

Enver-Marum tested Brendan Moore inside five minutes while Lee Worgan held on well from Damon Lathorpe’s 20-yard strike at the other end.

Stones were in front on 16 minutes courtesy of a gift in the home defence. Taylor swung over a cross from the right with Aman Verma - concerned by the presence of Flisher - presenting the ball straight to Odubade who couldn’t miss.

The visitors doubled their lead three minutes later and again the defending was poor.

Taylor was once more the provider, his free-kick met by Flisher with the ball somehow finding its way through to Enver-Marum off the home defence.

There was so much anger around the home crowd but they were nearly back in the game when Giancarlo Gallifuoco saw his volley from Luke Young’s corner hit the post.

Odubade tried to catch out Moore at his near post after latching on to a long ball from Jamie Coyle, while the home keeper made an excellent save with his feet after Lokko ghosted in at the near post to meet Taylor’s cross.

Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones

Torquay pulled a goal back six minutes before half-time. Stones had time to clear but hestitated and were left hoping for an offside flag that never came as Lathrope sent Nathan Blissett through one-on-one for a nice finish.

Maidstone restored their two-goal advantage just three minutes into the second half - and it was that man Odubade again.

Rogers hooked the ball on, Flisher flicked it over the defence and Odubade finished at the second attempt after his initial volley was saved.

But Torquay grabbed their second on 55 minutes, Dan Sparkes turning home Blissett’s pass after Young and Courtney Richards combined to open up Maidstone down the left.

An all-action game continued with Taylor breaking clear and bending his strike inches wide from the edge of the box, although a pass to Odubade might have been the better bet.

Flisher was withdrawn midway through the half - he’d done well to stay on as long as he did having been holding his knee and signalling to come off after half an hour.

His replacement, Paxman, was booked for a challenge before he’d even touched the ball.

Torquay piled on late pressure as Maidstone dropped deeper. Lokko threw himself in the way of Sparkes’ strike while penalty appeals for Coyle’s challenge on Blissett were rejected.

Paxman resisted a late chance to shoot as Maidstone broke with Sparkes wide at the other as Torquay countered quickly.

Torquay: Moore, Rowe-Turner, Lathorpe (Chaney 61mins), Gallifuoco, Young, Blissett, Richards (Ward 73mins), Sparkes, Verma, McGinty, Reid (Scrivens 83mins). Subs not used: Gerring, Robba.

Maidstone: Worgan, Evans, Mills, Coyle, Lokko, Rogers, Taylor, Sweeney, Enver-Marum (Murphy 71mins), Odubade (Greenhalgh 79mins), Flisher (Paxman 65mins). Subs not used: Acheampong, Mavila.

Attendance: 2,026 (280 from Maidstone).

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