Saturday 5 January 2019 // National League // Attendance: 2,929 (61 Stones supporters) // Report from KentOnline
Jack Powell scored both goals as Maidstone claimed a marvellous victory at Hartlepool.
It was a performance of guts and determination from a side who are clearly giving everything for caretaker bosses Tristan Lewis and Simon Walton.
Powell’s early opener was cancelled out a minute later by former Stones loanee Jake Cassidy – playing his first game back in Pools colours – but the winner followed before half-time.
The visitors defended for their lives in the second half while remaining a threat on the break in what must go down as their best display this season.
Cassidy’s place up top went to Jake Robinson and what a game he had.
No big man meant Maidstone had to keep it on the deck and with Robinson buzzing about, the Pools defence had a different problem altogether.
He set up the opener in just the fourth minute, running on to Aryan Tajbakhsh’s pass and crossing for Powell who finished neatly.
Pools replied a minute later with the inevitable goal for Cassidy.
A cross from the left was only partially dealt with it and when it came back in, a sliced clearance dropped to Cassidy, who couldn’t miss.
Both sides played some lovely football after that, Liam Noble and Ryan Donaldson dangerous players in the Pools midfield, while that ball for Robinson was on time and time again.
Tajbakhsh freed him once more just past the half-hour but Scott Loach was equal to his attempted chip, then the Stones striker exchanged passes with Powell and rolled the ball inches past the far post.
Maidstone were working hard and looking good and they regained the lead in the 40th minute.
Paxman did well to win the ball on the touchline and find Robinson with Powell turning on his cross and finding the bottom corner for a lovely second goal.
Stones debutant Ethan Ross passed his first big test as Pools threatened another instant reply, a brilliant save flying to his left when Carl Magnay met Noble’s free-kick.
Luke James hit the woodwork from 25 yards as Pools threatened at the start of the second half.
The hosts were well on top at this stage with Lewis and Walton urging their men to get up the park and not invite Pools on to them.
Easier said than done as the home side got on the attack and Maidstone had to defend well, skipper Will De Havilland getting in the way of Magnay’s blockbuster.
Hartlepool kept knocking at the door but Maidstone almost pinched a third on the break when Robinson set up Powell who was thwarted by Myles Anderson’s block.
De Havilland saved the day once more with a key interception then Cassidy headed wide when he perhaps should have scored.
Maidstone remained a threat on the break with Powell and Paxman just off target approaching the last five minutes, then substitute Elliott Romain hit the side-netting.
Hartlepool United: Jake Cassidy 5
Maidstone United: Jack Powell 4, 40
Maidstone United: Ethan Ross, Michael Phillips, Will De Havilland, Charlie Wassmer, George McLennan, Ollie Muldoon, Aryan Tajbakhsh (Jarvis Edobor 65mins), Jack Paxman, Jack Powell, Josh Taylor, Jake Robinson (Elliott Romain 84mins). Subs not used: Simon Walton, Jack Richards, Rob Swaine.
Who was your Man of the Match against Hartlepool United
- Jack Powell (38%, 24 Votes)
- Jake Robinson (24%, 15 Votes)
- Charlie Wassmer (11%, 7 Votes)
- George McLennan (8%, 5 Votes)
- Ethan Ross (5%, 3 Votes)
- Jack Paxman (5%, 3 Votes)
- Will De Havilland (3%, 2 Votes)
- Josh Taylor (2%, 1 Votes)
- Aryan Tajbakhsh (2%, 1 Votes)
- Ollie Muldoon (2%, 1 Votes)
- Elliott Romain (2%, 1 Votes)
- Michael Phillips (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jarvis Edobor (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 63