Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Maidstone United V Torquay United – FA Cup 1st Round
Venue: Gallagher Stadium
Date: Saturday 9th November 2019
Route to the 1st Round:
2nd qualifying round – 4-1 V Cheshunt (H)
3rd qualifying round – 2-1 V Hitchin Town (H)
4th qualifying round – 4-1 V Blackfields and Langley (H)
4th qualifying round – 3-2 V Boreham Wood (H)
Last time the two teams met: Maidstone United 1 Torquay United 0, 10th March 2018
An 88th minute effort from Josh Hare proved to be the difference for the Stones as they recorded their third win over the 2017-2018 campaign against the Gulls. Maidstone had previously triumphed in the National League at Plainmoor in November 2017 by a solitary goal, before returning to South Devon a month later to win 4-0 in the first round of the FA Trophy.
Manager: John Still/Hakan Hayrettin
The Stones management team consists of the a wise old head in the form of John Still who operates as head of football at the Gallagher Stadium alongside a younger head coach in Hakan Hayrettin.
Still is a vastly experienced operator at both lower league and non-league level, with over 40 years’ worth of managerial experience under his belt. He first led Maidstone into the Football League in the 1988-89 season, when he guided the previous incarnation of the Stones to the GM Vauxhall Conference title, and later repeated the feat with Dagenham and Redbridge and Luton Town in the 2006-07 and 2013-14 campaigns respectively (his three promotions from the fifth tier is a record that Gary Johnson is currently looking to equal with the Gulls). In addition to this he also guided the Daggers to promotion from League Two in the 2009-10 season.
Hayrettin, who had a brief spell on loan at Plainmoor in the 1992-93 campaign, started his career as a youth team player with Leyton Orient before going on to appear for Barnet, Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United amongst others. He previously worked with Still at Luton and has also managed Waltham Forest, Thurrock, Grays Athletic and Braintree Town.
One to watch: Iffy Allen
Iffy Allen is a player who needs no introduction to the Torquay United faithful after he played a key role in the Gulls’ first Great Escape under Kevin Nicholson in the 2015-16 season. While he was at Plainmoor, Allen scored three goals in 13 league appearances. Since leaving us in the summer of 2016, he has enjoyed a nomadic career which has taken in spells with Wrexham, Aldershot Town, Dulwich Hamlet and Braintree Town amongst others, before he joined the Stones at the start of the current campaign.
Classic encounter: Torquay United 2 Maidstone United 1, 30th December 1989
In what was their final game of the 1980s, United met the Stones, who had won promotion to the ‘old’ Division Four in the previous season, for the first time ever. The Gulls ran out as 2-1 winners with goals from Dean Edwards and Mark Loram in front of a crowd of 2,560 – to complete what remains their sole victory over Maidstone in their two incarnations. The Stones folded shortly after being expelled from the Football League on the eve of the 1992-93 season.
Gavin Hoyte – Ryan Johnson – George Elokobi – Noah Cheisman
Saidhou Khan – Ross Marshall
Justin Amalauzor – Iffy Allen – Nana Kyei
Ben Wynter – Robbie Cundy – Kyle Cameron – Liam Davis
Ben Whitfield – Matt Buse – Frank Vincent – Jake Andrews
Jamie Reid – Saikou Janneh
COYY – Steve