|Stephen McCartney reports from Bourne Park|
|Maidstone United||4||Richard Sinden 20,43,48
Mark Patterson 45
|Whitstable Town||1||Stuart Harrison 15|
hat-trick saw Maidstone United sweep away Go Travel Kent League rivals
Whitstable Town at Bourne Park on Sunday.
Despite the visitors, second in the table, taking a 15th minute lead against the run of play, Sinden scored his first five minutes later.
three goals in the space of five minutes in and around half-time ended the game
as a contest, as Maidstone went 4-1 up after 48 minutes.
Stones' right-wing back Aaron Lacy was instrumental in the high tempo performance from the home side and after receiving a pass from Jimmy Strouts, his fourth minute cross was headed wide by Lyndon Rowland.
Simon Austin then had two attempts on goal before the visitors grabbed the lead. His first chance, a 25-yard effort sailed over the bar, after Lacy's corner was cleared to him and his 40-yard right foot attempted lob was comfortably saved by the Whitstable goalkeeper.
Whitstable, however, grabbed the lead in the 15th minute from their first shot on goal.
Aaron Knight's cross from the left was dropped by Stones goalkeeper Steve Williams and this gifted Stuart Harrison a chance which he duly despatched lobbing the ball into the net from the right hand side from ten-yards.
Stones, however, responded quickly and after Strouts sent a header narrowly wide of the post from Lacy's corner, they deservedly drew level after 20 minutes.
Lacy's cross to the far post was knocked down by Rowland and Sinden's six-yard shot on the turn found the back of the net.
Whitstable's Lee Jones' got inside the Maidstone penalty area but his shot from sixteen yards lacked conviction allowing Williams to make a comfortable save.
Sinden received a good cross from Lacy but his volley from ten-yards was comfortably saved by Arterton before three goals in the space of five minutes killed the game off as a contest.
Maidstone went 2-1 up in the 43rd minute when former Gillingham star Mark Patterson delivered a pin point free kick from the left touch-line and Sinden made a delightful run towards the near post and got a slight touch to the ball which flashed into the back of the net.
Just before the break, visiting skipper Mark Seager was unlucky not to equalise when his 35-yard shot was magnificently tipped over the bar by Williams.
This proved to be a crucial save as Maidstone went into the break with a 3-1 lead with Patterson powerfully headed home Lacy's cross from the right into the net to score his second goal of the season.
Whitstable now had a mountain to climb and their hopes were dashed within three minutes of the second half when the Stones sealed the victory with Sinden's hat-trick.
Rowland played the ball over the top of the visiting defence for Austin to latch onto. He raced into the penalty area and instead of shooting at goal, he noticed Sinden had made a run into the penalty area at the far post. Sinden received a square pass and slid the ball into the bottom far corner of the net from eight yards to net a deserved hat-trick.
Marcus Perona's 20-yard right-footed shot on the Maidstone goal was comfortably saved by Williams before the goalkeeper saw Lee Jones' shot, after a mazy run down the left, take a deflection before going wide.
Arterton, however, made the save of the game after 67 minutes when he clawed Rowlands' powerful header away from goal.
Sinden was replaced by reserve team striker Lloyd Miller to an ovation three minutes later and the young replacement showed promise.
Shell-shocked Whitstable, however, rallied late in the game.
Following Seager's corner, Lee Jones' sixteen-yard drive went well wide of the far post, a fierce Steve Aslett drive was saved low down by the Maidstone goalkeeper before Sam Prett rolled the ball wide of the far post as Williams came racing out of goal to meet him.
Maidstone manager, Lloyd Hume, however, was very pleased with the performance.
"I didn't think it was an easy game for us. We performed really well all over the pitch and pressurised them in the right areas and didn't give Whitstable room to play.
"I thought Jimmy Strouts and Mark Patterson in midfield were superb and the front lads worked their socks off and at the back we defended well.
"The goal they scored was just a misjudged by Steve (Williams) in goal. Other than that he had a very sound game and I am very pleased all round with the performance."
Hume, was full of praise for hat-trick hero Sinden.
"He worked very hard for the goals. I am really pleased for the lad because he has had a few knockers saying he misses too many chances. He did really well today and he took his chances really well.
"We could have gone on and win the game by more goals."
Hume, admitted his side's fourth goal within three minutes into the second half was a crucial goal at a crucial time in the match.
"I said at half-time the next goal really decides the fate of the match in terms of the tempo.
"We got the goal and the game was dead then.
"I think the last twenty minutes we just cruised our way through.
"We had a few injuries today with six first team players out, so I am delighted with the people that came in and did well for us.
"It just shows we've got a good squad with strength in depth."
Maidstone United: Steve Williams, Aaron Lacy, Joe Dowley, Lloyd Hume, Gary Hemens, Danny Whelan, Jimmy Strouts (Capt), Mark Patterson (Steve Hogg 59), Richard Sinden (Lloyd Miller 70), Lyndon Rowland, Simon Austin (Martin Buglione 80). Sub: Jason Barton
Whitstable Town: Gary Arterton, Gary Sayer (Ryan Davis 46), Shane Davies, Ryan Robinson, Andy Keir, Marc Seager (Capt), Stuart Harrison (Steve Aslett 60), Marcus Perona, Aaron Knight (Steve Marshall 51), Sam Prett, Lee Jones. Subs: Martin Collins, Mark Lane
Referee: J Garratt
Assistants: C Hatzida & R Albert
To advertise here - telephone Stephen McCartney - 07979 418 360