Havant & Waterlooville slump to home defeat against Maidstone

The Hawks slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Maidstone United at Westleigh Park.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 12:49 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th January 2020, 5:18 pm
Benny Read was on the mark for the Hawks against Maidstone Picture: Dave Haines

Two first half goals put the visitors in charge of the game.

Despite dominating the second period all the home side could manage was a 77th-minute goal from substitute Benny Read.

Simon Walton picked up an early booking after Anthony Straker was robbed of the ball midway inside his own half.

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The defender brought down Iffy Allen on the edge of the area, but the free-kick was blocked by the defensive wall.

There was a narrow escape for the home side when Walton sliced a low ball across the face of his own goal.

But the visitors continued to threaten and on 13 minutes Matt McClure forced a near-post save from Ross Worner.

The home side were guilty of lofting too many high balls forward, which suited the big Stones defenders, and there was little for the crowd to enthuse about in the opening half hour.

When the breakthrough came on 32 minutes it was, unsurprisingly, the visitors who took the lead.

Ibby Akanbi picked up a knock on from a throw-in, easily turned his defender and fired a low shot from 12 yards past the diving Worner.

A dreadful mistake from Joe Cook then gifted the visitors a second goal a minute before the break.

He lost possession inside his own area and Akanbi drove his angled low shot into the bottom far corner of the net.

The home side made a double change at the break, with Read and Nicky Bailey replacing Cook and Alfie Rutherford.

Danny Kedwell ballooned a free-kick over the bar from the edge of the area.

Worner was then forced to save with his legs when Akanbi muscled his way past Sam Magri to go clear.

Maidstone came under increasing pressure as the home side pushed for a way back into the game.

The hosts launched wave after wave of attacks but they broke down against the wall of defenders.

Pressure finally paid off on 77 minutes when Read fired in an angled shot from inside the area.

Jonah Ayunga thumped a header wide in stoppage-time but the home side failed to find an equaliser.