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‘Luque’s goal would grace any league’ – Maidstone manager stunned by match winner

‘Luque’s goal would grace any league’ – Maidstone manager Hakan Hayrettin has been left stunned by the late match winner over Braintree.

He hailed the quality of Joan Luque’s strike earlier in midweek, getting on the end of a delightful crossfield pass from Joe Ellul, before breaking into the box and beat the keeper.

Luque’s goal helped put the Stones level on points with National League South leaders Dorking Wanderers with the season’s end just around the corner. Watch the goal for yourself below…

“That goal would grace any league, at any level, up and down the country,” said boss Hayrettin.

“It was a great ball and a great touch and a great finish and that’s why we’ve got Luque.”

The Stones had to fight hard to break Braintree who showed a stubborn side that made life difficult for the hosts.

“No wonder they’re third in the form guide,” Hayrettin added.

“They’re an exceptional team and they play to their strengths.

“We were frustrated because we thought, as well as we played first half, they nullified us in certain areas and sometimes when teams work as hard as you, you’re going to get frustrated.

“Second half it was all about us.

“They set up in such a way they make it difficult and they can score goals, so we have to be wary of that when we go there.

“I think for 45 minutes we camped in their half, we tried to move it, they’re very resilient and solid in the way they do things, but what a great piece of play and what a goal.

“I’ve been in this position many times before and I know every game is going to be up and down like this and we’re grateful that we got the goal when we got it, I think we deserved it.

“We could have had a couple more before that but take nothing away from them.”

Hayrettin added that there will be more appearances for both Tom Hadler and Yusuf Mersin in the club’s remaining matches this term: “People will think I’m playing my No.1 goalkeeper; I’m not.

“There’s nothing between him and Yus.

“Yus has done nothing wrong, I’ve put Tom in to have a look and then we’ll see.

“I might swap and change and see how we go. Both of them have been fantastic.

“Yusuf Mersin’s come in and been unbelievable, he’s a great bloke, a great character, got bundles of experience, he’s played in the Football League.

“I didn’t leave him out because he hasn’t been playing well, I just wanted to have a look at Tom and then we can reassess.

“We’ve got some big games coming up and I’m sure Yusuf’s going to be back in the frame again and so’s Tom.

“Yusuf’s played six games, he’s been fundamentally important to what I’ve done and he will play again, I’ll tell you now.

“Tom’s come in, I thought let’s give Tom a go, let’s have a look, so we’ve had a look and we’ll go again.

“I’m sure they’re both going to play a big part in the push.”

There was plenty of thoughts with the Maidstone manager stunned by the match winner…

@MUJC123: It gets better every time you watch it 😍 two absolute hero’s combining 🤩

@andymhunt3: And two of the most likeable players in the team that give a lot of time to the fans.

@Josephellul41: Fans come first we wouldn’t be anything without the fans

@danwollweber22: Best player in the league by a mile 💛🖤

@MrZampa7: Great assist Joe! 🇲🇹🙌🏼

@kathmurray1410: First class pass son what more can I say and a brilliant goal ❤️

@jamie_acott: Quality touch to bring it down! Nice calm finish! Great goal!

@DSkinnerLegal: I could watch that first touch all day

@andymhunt3: Its the pass from @Josephellul41 that does it for me a moment of pin point accuracy.

@signalstone: Neither of these two should be allowed to ever leave Maidstone, confiscate their passports,make them both mayor,give them both the freedom of the town (which means they can drove their sheep over the bridge system) we have to keep them,they must never leave 🖤

@toddy8819: At all levels that is just a technically brilliant goal

@callumglaze: Cannot stop watching this absolute filth.

@Joewilkins14: Scenes 😍

@D_wolf29: Great pass, Great touch, Great finish

@tv_lions: It often baffles me why this man doesn’t play in the football league, does stuff like this every week

@AlexHoadSport: Special goal but that touch should definitely not be broadcast before 9pm

@RedAndWhite11: A goal that Thierry Henry would’ve been proud of.

@GtotheP: This lad is amazing

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