Maidstone United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Hartlepool United yesterday and manager Jay Saunders says that his side aren’t firing on all cylinders yet.

Pools picked up back-to-back wins after securing their first Vanarama National League victory last Monday.

It came at the cost of Maidstone’s four-game unbeaten run, that included impressive results over Sutton United and Wrexham.

Keith Watson’s early goal for the hosts set them on their way and further strikes from Jonathan Franks and Connor Simpson in the second half wrapped up the points, despite Johan ter Horst’s late consolation.

“We weren’t at the races,” said manager Saunders. “We had a lot of possession at times without really hurting them and I thought the game was won in midfield. Their midfield three got the better of ours, two of their goals came from midfielders.

“The last four games our midfield has been excellent but we were off it today. They seemed to have more energy than us and deserved their win.

“This is a place where if they’re not doing well then the crowd turns on them. Once they got the first goal they were on their side.

“I know Hartlepool haven’t had the greatest of starts but they’ll take a lot of points at home. They’ve got a good side, they’re very hard working. I think we could have asked more questions of them. The final third is a problem at the moment for us. I don’t feel we’re really firing.”


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