Maidstone United 0-2 Eastbourne Borough
Maidstone United 0-2 Eastbourne Borough

Maidstone United’s unbeaten National League South start came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Eastbourne Borough at the Gallagher on Saturday. 

Second half goals for James Hammond and Dominic Hutchinson gave Borough a hard-earned win in the Kent sunshine. 

The Stones dominated the first period hitting the woodwork on three occassions, all coming after captain George Elokobi squandered the game’s first chance heading tamely in to ex-Stones stopper Lee Worgan’s arms from close range. 

Rlarie Deacon was the first to hit the frame of the goal when his 25 yard strike smashed the crossbar before bouncing on the line, although it appeared well over, shortly before the half hour. 

Seconds later Sam Corne latched on to a loose ball and saw his effort also rattle Worgan’s bar.

On 32 minutes Maidstone striker Christie Pattison was played in by Deacon and his effort crashed against the post as the Gallagher faithful struggled to believe their side were not ahead. 

There was still time for Deacon and Alfie Pavey to see long range efforts go just over before the interval.

Eastbourne started the second half brighter and took the lead when Hammond’s free kick took a massive deflection fooling Stones goalkeeper Tom Hadler and putting the visitors ahead on 55 minutes.

Just past the hour Borough’s lead doubled, skipper Charlie Walker’s effort fell fortuitously for Hutchinson who drilled the ball between Hadler’s legs to send the small pocket of away fans into raptures. 

The hosts looked shell-shocked and could have fallen further behind but for a superb last ditch tackle by Jake Gallagher on Chris Whelpdale. 

It took until the 81st minute for any second half effort of note for the Stones but Pavey’s soft header was comfortably saved by Worgan. 

The away team stood strong to the pressure and a 106th minute goalmouth scramble that saw Jake Elliott’s block deny Corne was the last of the action on a day to forget for Hakan Hayrettin and his side.

Borough move up to 9th while Maidstone remain 2nd despite a first league loss since January.

Man of the Match: Greg Luer 

Maidstone United: Tom Hadler, Gavin Hoyte, George Elokobi (C), Raphe Brown, Sam Corne, Alfie Pavey, Regan Booty (Dominic Odusanya 61), Jake Gallagher (Jermaine McGlashan 79) Christie Pattison (Jack Barham 61), Jerome Binnom-Williams, Roarie Deacon.

Eastbourne Borough: Lee Worgan, Jake Elliott, Jack Currie, James Ferry (Charlie Towning 79), Mitchell Dickenson, James Hammond, Greg Luer (Yellow 76), Charlie Walker (Charley Kendall 83), Chris Whelpdale, James Beresford, Dominic Hutchinson (Yellow 73) (Joel Rollinson 85).

Scorers: James Hammond (55), Dominic Hutchinson (61). 
Attendance: 2,382