Boreham Wood v Maidstone United
Saturday 1st October 2022, 5.20pm
LV BET Stadium Meadow Park, National League
The Wood return to the LV BET Stadium Meadow Park after two successive away trips, looking to increase their unbeaten run to seven games in front of the BT Sport cameras against newly promoted Maidstone United.
IN FOCUS: MAIDSTONE UNITED
Maidstone United finally made it to the fifth tier of English football in 2016 after achieving back-to-back promotions, lasting three years in the National League before a 24th place finish in the 2018/19 season saw them relegated. The arrival of Hakan Hayrettin as Head Coach turned things around for the Kent-based outfit though, and the Stones’ impressive performances in the sixth tier culminated in a title-winning campaign in 2021/22, with promotion secured with two games to spare. They currently sit 16th in the National League with three wins, two draws and five defeats, but will be keen to ensure it is an extended stay in the top level of non-league football.
LAST TIME OUT
Maidstone United 1-2 Chesterfield
Saturday 24th September 2022
Vanarama National League
Despite an early scare, Maidstone United were able to hold their own against last season’s play-off quarter-finalists as Chesterfield were unable to find a way through for much of the game. It took until the 82nd minute for the Spireites to break the deadlock through Kabongo Tshimanga, but their lead lasted just six minutes as substitute James Alabi headed Regan Booty’s free kick past Lucas Covolan. A draw would be stolen from their grasp though as the hosts suffered a late blow, with a stoppage time winner from Darren Oldaker securing all three points for Chesterfield.
Chesterfield (H) L2-1
Bromley (A) L3-0
Wealdstone (H) D1-1
Gateshead (A) L4-1
Aldershot Town (A) W3-1
Torquay United (H) W1-0
The Stones kicked off their first National League campaign since 2019 with just one win from their opening four games, but they were able to round off August with six points from six thanks to a solitary strike from James Alabi against Torquay United along with a comfortable 3-1 win at the EBB Stadium two days later. Fellow newly promoted side Gateshead brought Maidstone back down to earth though, with a 4-1 thumping at the start of September that saw the Heed take a 4-0 lead. The Kent-based outfit are yet to record their fourth victory of the season, picking up just one point from their last three games at the hands of Wealdstone which preceded successive defeats against Bromley and Chesterfield, though the latter was a real sucker-punch having been level until stoppage time.
IN THE DUGOUT: HAKAN HAYRETTIN
Hakan Hayrettin began his coaching career with Waltham Forest and guided the club to Essex Senior Cup glory, before taking over roles at Thurrock and Grays Athletic. He reached the Isthmian League Division One North play-offs with the latter where they were knocked out at the semi-final stage, but did eventually lead the club to promotion with a club-record 102 points, only losing four league games throughout the campaign. The former Boreham Wood midfielder later joined Luton Town as First Team Coach and helped the club win the Conference title in the first season, before securing an eighth place finish in their first season back in the Football League prior to his departure in 2016. After three years at Kenilworth Road he joined Braintree Town, but found more success after moving to Maidstone United where he won promotion from the National League South as champions, ending the club’s three-year absence from the fifth tier of English football.
ONE TO WATCH: REGAN BOOTY
Yorkshireman Regan Booty began his career in the Huddersfield Town youth setup, rising through the age groups where he made his debut for the Under-18’s at the age of just 15. He continued to impress and was part of the Terriers’ Under-21 side that won the Professional Development League in 2016, before a move into men’s football came in 2018 with a loan spell at Aldershot Town, making 42 appearances in the National League. A permanent switch to Notts County preceded further stints with Bradford (Park Avenue) and Chorley, before making the move to Maidstone United in 2021. The 24-year old played a key role in the Stones’ promotion as champions last season, with 32 appearances in the centre of the park.
LAST TIME WE MET
Boreham Wood 1-1 Maidstone United (5-4 pens)
Saturday 15th January 2022
FA Trophy Fourth Round
In a breathless encounter in Hertfordshire, Boreham Wood made it through to the Fifth Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy following a 5-4 penalty shootout win.
It was the hosts who looked most threatening early on and showed their quality against the National League South side, with early chances for Danilo Orsi and Jacob Mendy Mendy. The former thought he had struck the opener after putting the ball in the back of the net, only to be denied by the assistant’s flag, but they would break the deadlock minutes later when Tyrone Marsh converted a spot-kick. Maidstone United grew into the game as the half progressed but they were unable to find a way beyond Taye Ashby-Hammond in the Wood goal, going into half time behind.
The second half kicked off in a similar vein to the first and the hosts will have been disappointed to not double their lead with chances for David Stephens and Orsi. They would soon rue these misses as the visitors levelled the scoring with a little under 20 minutes to go, as substitute Christie Pattison saw a cross deflected into the path of Michael Phillips who slotted home. The Stones began to turn the screw and looked the more likely to win it in the closing stages, with opportunities for Joan Luque and Regan Booty. Scott Boden should have won it in stoppage time though, but after being picked out by Josh Rees somehow blazed his effort over the crossbar with Tom Hadler beaten.
Into the penalty shootout, and both sides made no mistake from their opening five spot-kicks. Boden would be the first to be denied by the opposition goalkeeper but Ashby-Hammond immediately spared his blushes, before successful strikes from Marsh, Luque and Mendy Mendy sent the shootout into sudden death. Maidstone’s Joe Ellul let the pressure get to him as he saw his effort come back off the crossbar, giving Kane Smith the task of winning the match for his side, which he gratefully accepted.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? TERRY HARRIS
Maidstone United’s assistant manager Terry Harris has held his role at the Gallagher Stadium since August 2020 following a two-year spell at Dagenham & Redbridge, however his move to Victoria Road came about after a stint at the LV BET Stadium Meadow Park. Harris was involved in the Wood’s historic 2017/18 campaign as assistant to Luke Garrard, and saw them feature at Wembley Stadium for the first time as memorable victories over AFC Fylde and Sutton United saw them reach the National League play-off final. There was additional success in the FA Cup as well, with the Wood dumping out League One side Blackpool to reach the Second Round which they would lose away at Coventry City. With the closure of the season following the play-off final defeat against Tranmere Rovers, Harris departed Hertfordshire to return to East London for his fourth spell before joining Hakan Hayrettin’s coaching staff in 2020, with whom he helped to guide the Stones back into the National League as champions last season.
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