Rutherford hat-trick helps Hawks brush aside Maidstone

Alfie Rutherford struck a treble for the Hawks to see off Maidstone
Alfie Rutherford struck a treble for the Hawks to see off Maidstone

The Hawks stormed to a third straight home win by beating ten-man Maidstone United 5-2 at West Leigh Park.

Alfie Rutherford gave them an early lead before the Stones were reduced to ten men in the 33rd minute.

Jonah Ayunga scored on his debut and Alex Bradley and Rutherford with two more completed a fine win.

In a surprise move, the Hawks brought new signing Ayunga straight into the starting line-up. The 6ft 3in striker has arrived at Westleigh Park from Sutton for a three-month loan.

He replaced Alfie Pavey, who has been sold to Dover Athletic for an undisclosed fee.

A brisk start by the hosts pinned the Stones back in the opening minutes before Brian Stock wasted a good opportunity by over-hitting a free-kick from the left beyond the far post.

The Hawks were rewarded for their positive start with a tenth-minute goal. Ayunga was blocked on the edge of the area as he was about to shoot but RUTHERFORD latched on to the loose ball. The striker fired his first-time shot into the roof of the net via a slight deflection.

One in one out at Westleigh Park

Jack Powell poked the ball narrowly past the far post as the Stones went close to an equaliser. On 26 minutes Ayunga was denied a goal when Grant Smith saved one-handed at full stretch.

The visitors were reduced to ten men 12 minutes before half-time. Elliott Romain was shown a straight red card after clashing with Rory Williams in front of the home bench.

A minute later AYUNGA grabbed a debut goal with a fierce drive from just inside the area.

Turgott missed a good chance for the Stones but Alex BRADLEY extended the Hawks lead on 53 minutes with a fantastic strike, the midfielder moving forward before unleashing an unstoppable drive high into the net.

It was 4-0 when Rutherford’s low drive went in, with some initial confusion over whether anyone else got a touch.

Maidstone staged a mini fightback with two goals in the last five minutes to make it 4-2 before RUTHERFORD killed them off with his third the Hawks’ fifth.​​​​​​​