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Whitehawk 1 Maidstone United 0 match report

Maidstone will finish third in National South after losing 1-0 at play-off hopefuls Whitehawk on Saturday.

Victory would have given them a chance of snatching second from Ebbsfleet on the final day of the season but they were beaten by the only goal just before half-time.

Alex Flisher thought he’d scored a late equaliser but having awarded the goal, referee Ian Cooper changed his mind after consulting his linesman.

Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders
Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders

Maidstone, unchanged from the side who won at Truro last weekend, played up a considerable slope in the first half.

Whitehawk looked better early on, former Football League midfielder Sergio Torres making the hosts tick.

Most of the hosts’ best work went through the tricky Argentinian although in a half of few chances, his shooting wasn’t the best, blazing an early effort over on the half-volley and seeing another wayward effort blocked.

Having been largely on the back foot, Maidstone went close to an opener on the quarter-hour, Callum Davies first to meet a Flisher long throw before Dan Sweeney nodded against the post from six yards.

Whitehawk took the lead two minutes before half-time. The danger seemed go be over after Torres was crowded out but Maidstone then lost the ball in midfield and it reached David Ijaha, who finished impressively with a first-time strike from the edge of the box.

There was a half-time change for the visitors with Joe Healy on for Jay May, the big man at risk of a red card after a booking and later a warning for a challenge on Torres.

It left Dumebi Dumaka as Stones’ focal point up top and he went close early in the second half, turning neatly on Bobby-Joe Taylor’s pass and seeing his strike touched past the post by Craig Ross.

Stones’ second change saw Charles Banya introduced for James Rogers, with Flisher pushed up front alongside Dumaka, while Vas Karagiannis made way for Matt Bodkin soon after.

Bodkin offered crosses from the right, one thing you don’t get from Karagiannis, who cuts in on his left foot, so it made sense given Whitehawk didn’t look that comfortable when the ball went in their box.

Neither Flisher nor Dumaka could get to Tom Mills’ driven ball across the face of goal as Maidstone looked for a way back.

Flisher had an 84th-minute strike ruled out for offside, the referee at first giving the goal before taking the advice of his linesman.

It should have been game over at the other end when Danny Mills raced on to a ball over the top but he belted wide.

Maidstone: Worgan, Taylor, Mills, Davies, Parry, Rogers (Banya 63mins), Karagiannis (Bodkin 71mins), Sweeney, May (Healy 46mins), Dumaka, Flisher. Subs not used: Birchall, Paxman.

Attendance: 770.

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